HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Planning on doing some holiday shopping this weekend? Add someone in need to your gift list by choosing a name on the Salvation Army's Angel Tree.
Santa's local elves are battering up some festive funnel cakes this holiday season - for their bake sale and white elephant fundraiser.
"Everything we collect, 100% of it, goes to the Salvation Army," explains Lee Moriwaki, Senior Vice-President at Central Pacific Bank. CPB employees have adopted several Hawaii families this season - hoping to spread cheer for those less fortunate.
"The families are usually large," says Moriwaki. "A lot of times, it's a single parent - a lot of children. So, they need help at the holidays - and it's also a great way for them to feel that or to know that somebody cares about them.
They'll hold fundraisers throughout the month. Last year, CPB raised more than $125,000 for needy families.
Jennifer Robert is one of those moms in need. Her seven children - ranging in age from two to 13 - have never had a real Christmas. "I feel really happy when my kids are really happy and they get what they want. That's what I'm dreaming about - to have enough for them," Jennifer says.
The money CPB employees raise will help Jennifer buy clothes and toys for her kids. She hesitates to say what she wants for Christmas. Her answer is more practical than extravagant. "My problem is: I wish to have money to pay (put) my car in the shop. That's what I really want 'cause I don't want to lose my job."
She'd like her car fixed, so she can get to her job at the Makiki McDonald's from her home in Palolo more easily. The Salvation Army says Jennifer's family's story is not unusual.
"We've seen an increased need," says Salvation Army Major Jonette Mulch. "We've just met many people that are having a harder time this year."
You can help the Salvation Army this season. The Angel Trees are located at 30 Central Pacific Bank branches and at malls across the state. Just pick a tag and buy the gift listed - or make a monetary donation. More than seven-thousand tags are still available, and you have until December 16th to buy a new and unwrapped gift for a senior, teen, and/or child.
Santa's elves will thank you.