Helping Hands Hawaii: The Rico Family - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Helping Hands Hawaii: The Rico Family

Melanie and Alberto Rico Melanie and Alberto Rico
WAIANAE, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

"We still making it..." Melanie Rico's voice trails off, as if she's pausing to complete the thought.

No words come.

The family's primary breadwinner, Melanie resigned from her job in May.

“I didn't want to hurt anyone while I was working".

The Waianae resident battles schizophrenia and anxiety. It was a tough decision, but one she doesn't regret. Her husband, Alberto, supports her emotionally and now supports the family financially, through disability payments. The money is tight. The Rico's have enough to make rent and pay utilities, but that's pretty much it. Most of their food comes from food banks, and they are limited on the amount of driving they can do because of fuel and maintenance costs.

Still, they maintain a positive outlook.

"Anybody, even me, I could've said, 'now that I disabled, time for go depressed, time for stupid stuff like do drugs or stuff like that, but god always remind me I have responsibilities" said Alberto.

He is sowed physically from diabetes, but he has a quick wit to go with a spry persona.

Melanie is quieter. Her condition has changed her perspective on life.

"You cannot just judge the person from what you see. You have to know them to what they're really going through and how they suffer with it" she said.

As part of the Helping Hands Hawaii Adopt a Family program, the Rico's are asking for a little help this holiday season to make Christmas brighter.

The Rico's are parents to three adult daughters. Cindy, 20, lives at home. They're hoping to cultivate her artistic passion this holiday season. They hope she could receive a drawing or painting kit. For themselves, they are asking for a food blender or rice cooker, perhaps a dinner out.

Mostly though, they want to share in some holiday spirit.

"Just sharing the love is the most best Christmas gift you can give" said Melanie.

To find out how to adopt the Rico family, click HERE

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