Helping Hands Hawaii's Adopt-a-Family: Keith Burke - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Helping Hands Hawaii's Adopt-a-Family: Keith Burke

The Burke family The Burke family
Keith Burke Keith Burke
Lucy Burke Lucy Burke
Alyssa Schoenfeld Alyssa Schoenfeld
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Money is tight this Christmas for a veteran who moved to Hawaii after doing missionary work overseas. Helping Hands Hawaii is hoping that a Secret Santa will adopt his family.

Keith Burke and his wife, Lucy, have overcome many obstacles during their 17 years of marriage. While living in Australia with their two children, health problems forced her to quit her job as a hair dresser. Around the same time, the factory where he worked at shut down.

"My wife and I had a heart to go to the Philippines and serve the Filipino people and the churches there, so we decided, well, maybe this is a good opportunity to do that," explained Keith.

The family spent seven months there, reaching out to those living in poverty.

"We helped the pastor there feed the homeless and I got an opportunity to preach in the Cebu City jail, and wherever God needed us, we were able to help out," said Keith.

Since moving to Hawaii four months ago, Keith has been struggling to find a job and a permanent home for the family.

"The rent is really high, the employment search can be very difficult if you don't have a home base to work out of, so it's a lot of stress," said Alyssa Schoenfeld, the family's caseworker at Catholic Charities Hawaii.

"We left the comforts to give to others, and now, we're on the other side," said Lucy Burke.

After staying at a shelter run by the Disabled American Veterans Association, they're temporarily renting a room in Aiea. They're living off of Keith's pension from his 20 years of service in the U.S. Air Force.

"Our family is getting closer. We bond nicely and we don't need much," Lucy said.

Their children, Katia and Keetan, need school supplies and are also hoping for movie tickets this Christmas. Their parents' wish list includes a non-fiction book and a restaurant gift card. Despite all the challenges, the Burkes are counting their blessings, surrounded by love and faith this holiday season.

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