A Halloween Treat For Children In A Scary Situation

Annabel Quinonez
Annabel Quinonez
Ricky Martinez
Ricky Martinez
Dr. Jill Omori
Dr. Jill Omori

By Paul Drewes

(KHNL) - It's a scary thought, not having a home or a place to live.

But on this Halloween, it's no trick for the many families forced to live in the Kaka'ako Transitional Shelter.

For those who have so little, it was a big deal to dress up and take part in fun and games, all at a place that usually is not one to put smiles on young faces.

It's not a haunted house filled with ghosts or goblins, but its also not a normal house, like many of these kids wish they could live in.

But on this Halloween under the night sky, just steps from the Next Step Shelter, these kids, who have so little, were just like all those other kids. The ones who have homes to call their own.

And as far as treats go, that's pretty good.

"They get to enjoy this," said volunteer Annabel Quinonez. "Its not like they get to do this every day."

"On a normal day they might get mad, have problems, crying. Tonight is very special for them, not like the other regular days for them. It's nice," said Next Step resident Bruce Libai.

These kids got to dress up and pretend to be a princess or a pirate and they got a chance to stay out late.

"They can't do the things that kids out there can do, they have to be in at a certain time over here and they can't have that fun they used to have," said Next Step resident Ricky Martinez.

Many enjoyed the activities, but after all, this is Halloween and all these little kids enjoyed the goodies to go along with the fun.

And while the kids had smiles from this special night, seeing those smiles was a treat to the adults at this Kakaako shelter.

"When they go to school - to be able to share the same experiences with their classmates - we feel its important," said Dr. Jill Omori of the University of Hawaii School of Medicine.

"That's what I want for them. To be happy," said Libai.

Students and staff at the University of Hawaii School of Medicine who put on Tuesday's event also want the kids to feel special on future holidays.

They will try to have something for them to look forward to on upcoming holidays as well.