HCAP WEEKLY December 13, 2021

Service Members Help HCAP Provide Holiday Gifts to Children in Need
HCAP Head Start Keiki Play Ball
Single Mother Getting Back on Her Feet with HCAP Programs

Service Members Help HCAP Provide Holiday Gifts to Children in Need

Sailors from the USS Wayne E. Meyer visited HCAP’s Central District Service Center this week to deliver holiday gifts for children in need. The crew, who are currently stationed at Pearl Harbor, adopted fifty children through this year’s Salvation Army Angel Tree program to help bring some holiday cheer to the local community.

Many of the participating families have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic and would have otherwise been unable to provide gifts. Through the Angel Tree program, each child will receive a wrapped gift with their name on it from an “angel,” who they will be able to send special thank you cards in return.

Central District Service Center is also working with service members from Marine Corps Base Kāneʻohe for the annual Toys for Tots drive. The Marine Corps Reserve sponsors the program each year to collect toy donations and distribute Christmas gifts for children in need. “We would not be able to provide this much needed support to our community without these great service members and their big hearts,” said Central District Service Center Manager Katy Perry.

HCAP Head Start Keiki Play Ball

This week, HCAP Head Start ʻAiea Pre-Plus students rolled and bounced their way through educational activities incorporating different round objects in their environment. 

In the art center, cotton balls and marbles became tools to create paintings without brushes. The keiki learned that cotton balls can be used as stamps to make different paint effects on paper. They also tried out rolling paint across their papers with spoons and marbles to create designs.

The keiki enjoyed playing miniature golf at the block center and knocking down plastic bottle “pins” in the dramatic play center’s new “bowling alley.” Through these activities, the students made observations about how different materials change how a ball moves. They discovered that even though all of the balls rolled and bounced, “soft and squishy” ones do not roll as far or bounce as high. 

Outside on the playground, the class identified circular shapes in everyday objects that are part of their surroundings. They were then encouraged to extend the lessons beyond the classroom by trying to find balls at home and challenge their family members to see who can roll theirs the farthest. 

Click Here to learn more about HCAP Head Start & Early Head Start.

Single Mother Getting Back on Her Feet with HCAP Programs

Lizeth is a single mom of twin girls. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she was enjoying success in her job at the Sheraton Hotel in Waikīkī and had just purchased a home for her young family. She was set to return to work from maternity leave in March 2020 when the tourism industry shut down almost overnight. 

Like many other tourism industry employees, Lizeth applied for unemployment benefits that would not materialize for several months. The payments she did receive were significantly lower than her income from the hotel and soon stopped entirely. Lizeth was unable to get a hold of anyone who could help fix the mistake while she struggled to purchase food and fell behind on utility bills and mortgage payments. 

Lizeth was able to apply for SNAP benefits for food, but found herself so behind on mortgage payments that she feared losing her home. Her local union representative had heard about HCAP’s CARES Act program for mortgage assistance and encouraged Lizeth to reach out for more information. 

HCAP’s Central District Service Center staff helped Lizeth apply for assistance with her past due mortgage and utility payments. She also applied for the Weatherization Assistance and Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Programs to help her family cut back on their utility usage and lower their energy bills. 

Lizeth had been looking forward to returning to her hotel job, but after months of waiting she decided to enroll in the Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Services Program. Through the program, she secured a position as a line cook at The Cheesecake Factory as a way to support her children.

Lizeth stopped by Central District Service Center this month to pick up the gift cards she earned for reaching her 30, 60, and 90 day employment milestones. With the state of Hawaiʻi reopening for tourism, Lizeth hopes to be able to return to her position at the Sheraton soon. 

Click Here to learn more about Nā Lima Hana Employment Core Services or Cick Here to learn more about Weatherization Assistance.