Adopt-a-Family 2020: As Christmas approaches, this Hawaii family is hoping for brighter times

Adopt-a-Family 2020: As Christmas approaches, this Hawaii family is hoping for brighter times
When the Rain family moved to Hawaii from Micronesia in 2007, just finding a place to stay was a struggle. (Source: NBC)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - When the Rain family moved to Hawaii from Micronesia in 2007, just finding a place to stay was a struggle.

“Double up with families, staying in shelters, getting into transitionals and then into our housing,” said Mina Rain, who recently applied to Helping Hands Hawaii’s Adopt-A-Family Program.

The Rains waited nearly 10 years to move into public housing, but trying to survive in the pandemic has been an exponentially difficult challenge.

Mina’s husband, Tender worked at a rental car company in Waikiki, but lost his job earlier this year in the COVID-19 shutdowns and unemployment financial assistance has run out.

”It’s really difficult, especially for our income,” Mina said. “We tried our best to keep track for our bills, since he’s out of job. We are really low on everything.”

The Rains have three kids with another on the way.

Mina, a stay-at-home mother, is thankful to have them home for distance learning, but online school has its challenges including, paying for internet access.

”It’s really kind of hard because it’s really a big difference from them being in school,” Mina said.

“Teachers teaching them what is part of their school and me at home teaching them, which I am not really sure about what it’s supposed to be.”

Mio Shimada of the Honolulu Community Action Program has worked with a family for just over a year.

“They come from a harder background and they may not have had as many opportunities as some of us might have,” Shimada said. “They are definitely experiencing economic challenges and we are here with our services to help them overcome these and our doors are open for everybody who wants to be part of our programs.”

Mina says the financial impacts of the pandemic have her constantly stressed.

As Christmas approaches, all they want is for everyone to be happy, a warm meal, and an opportunity for Tender to return to work.

“Just have him back on financial or back to his job, so he can support our family normally,” Mina said.

To donate to the Rains or any of the families in this year’s Adopt-a-Family program, click here.

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