Hometown Heroes: Family in mourning helps kids coping with losses of their own

Hometown Heroes: Family in mourning helps kids coping with losses of their own

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Losing a parent can feel like the end of the world – especially for children.

A family that suffered its own tragedy is now helping those children succeed in life.

"When I started to read the scholarships, I started to see how many more kids that are out there that are like me. I didn't feel so alone,” said Jenna Richards.

Richard’s father, Reid, died in 1998 after battling cancer for a year.

He was just 33 years old at the time. Jenna was 3. Her brother Jason was 5.

"It hit the family hard," said Reid younger brother Ross.

But through their hardship, the Richards family wanted to create happiness for others.

A year after Reid’s death, they established The Reid Richards Foundation to help children who have lost a parent or guardian reach their educational goals.

“The scholarship has helped me tremendously,” said Kaimipuakealani Morreira, one of those the foundation has helped. “I just graduated in May from Idaho State University with my bachelor’s in radiographic science.”

Over the years, the family foundation has awarded nearly 50 scholarships totaling about $100,000.

"It is amazing how many are out there and they are just so grateful,” said Wendy Richards, Reid’s wife. "We would love to give more money … we want more kids to know that help is here.”

Money is raised through an annual golf tournament and gala.

“Once we see how much money we raise, it’s a good feeling to give it all back to people of Hawaii, children of Hawaii,” said Ross.

For information on how to apply for the scholarship, click here.

Copyright 2019 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.