A single mother’s fight for love

Chastity - Valentine's MemeA soccer mom who lost her way scores the biggest goal of her life for the love of her children.

A few years ago, Chasity was a mom of five that did it all. Living in Kaua‘i, she worked full time, took a full load of classes at the community college, spread herself thin between her children’s soccer practices and shuttling them to after school activities.“I was doing it all as a single mother. It was so overwhelming that I started making bad decisions. I knew some friends that did ice and once I tried it, I was hooked. Next thing I know, I was addicted,” she said.

Not too long after she became addicted, she became pregnant.“I remember giving birth in the hospital. Child Protective Services (CPS) was there to take my daughter Kirie, just a few days later, they took my newborn, Nevaeh,” Chasity recalls.“It was at that point when they were taken from me that I realized I chose ice over my own kids. I had to change.”

Chasity’s next move was to get help. She found The Salvation Army Family Treatment Services (FTS) online and booked her ticket to O‘ahu. Her four oldest children moved in with their dad and grandparents while she sought treatment. After just two months of treatment, The Salvation Army reunited Chasity with Kirie; arrangements were made so that Chasity could visit Nevaeh in Kaua‘i for four hours every other week.“I had to bond with my baby. She was a child of the State and I wasn’t going to let her forget who her mother was,” said Chasity.

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 4.14.20 PM"Being away from Nevaeh hurt more than anything. I needed her to know who I was," said Chasity.

On January 20, 2016, Chasity, now a graduate of FTS, and Kirie boarded a plane back to Kaua‘i to be reunited with Nevaeh. CPS arrived with a sleeping Nevaeh in tow,“I ran to the car, opened the door, and said ‘Nevaeh, mommy’s here!’ She reached out to me and it was the most touching experience. I fought for 17 months to become a good mother, a better person for my kids. I felt so proud of myself.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 4.13.54 PM"The Salvation Army reunited me with Kirie after two months of treatment. Seeing her at the baggage claim, running towards me was such an emotional moment. I knew I was on the right path to get my life together," said Chasity.

“I had to fight. I fought with everything I had to be with my baby,” said Chasity.“You wouldn’t believe the challenges I faced, the barriers, thoughts that I had saying that I couldn’t get better. But a mother’s love is so strong, it pushes you to show up, be there for your babies, and make better choices.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 4.14.46 PMThe Salvation Army Pathway of Hope case manager, Cameo McQuade, works with Chasity to keep her accountable, connect her to resources she is eligible for, and finds ways to get her involved in the community.

Chasity is now a client at The Salvation Army Pathway of Hope, where she is receiving resources for affordable child care, secured a job at Jamba Juice Hawaii, and is working her way to providing for her children.“My heart is so full of love. is Valentine’s Day, I’ll be taking Kirie and Nevaeh to the zoo with some of our church friends from The Salvation Army.”

Mahalo to our friends at Central Pacific Bank for their donation of annual zoo passes for our clients and graduates of our FTS program.

 

From Missionary to Visionary

Anna Stone quote

I grew up poor in the Philippines. I understand where these people come from when they say they don’t have anything. They need hope to succeed and the skills to be resilient in life. That’s what we can offer them. – Anna Stone, The Salvation Army Pathway of Hope Director

The Director of The Salvation Army Pathway of Hope initiative, Anna Stone, talks from experience. “I’ve been there. I’ve seen the families in shelters here in Honolulu and the west side of O‘ahu. I’m determined to change or at least affect change in the way we handle our homeless situation,” said Anna Stone. The Pathway of Hope initiative seeks to help families and individuals break the cycle of poverty and drug addiction through securing stable jobs, housing, and becoming sufficient, contributing members of the community. The initiative is geared towards stemming poverty at the core, providing guidance and case management, a service beyond fulfilling basic needs.

Anna recounts her experience with poverty as a young child in the Philippines. “I had to beg for a can of pork and beans at the store near my house. You don’t know how helpless you feel when you have to do that for your family,” she said. Determined to change her situation, Anna entered her church’s discipleship school. “It opened a door for me. After completing school, I was able to travel to Europe and across the United States. I visited numerous poverty-stricken communities and supported their programs. Although the people, language, and culture were different, the situation was the same. There was no hope.”

The Pathway of Hope has three pillars: jobs, housing, and a community of support. These key elements combine into a formula for self-sufficiency. A formula that Anna herself used to succeed in life.

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“Self-sufficiency is only as good as the people you have around you. A stable job and a safe home are only the first steps. The third pillar is what made gave me hope and the desire to continue my path,” said Anna. Her path led her to get married, work at a similar church in Honolulu, and pursue her Master’s degree in Public Health with a focus on Social and Behavioral Science.

“After graduate school, I established Ho‘omaka Hou with my husband, which offers homeless and disadvantaged families access to computers to find jobs, services, and resources in the community,” said Anna. “This was great, but as I visited shelters in Honolulu, met with families, assessed their needs…I realized Ho‘omaka Hou would only go so far. I had a vision of helping those in need beyond basic services. That’s why I joined The Salvation Army in their initiative to help others become self-sufficient.”

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“My church gave me hope, education, and the opportunity to help my family,” said Anna. “Imagine if we connected a homeless family with a church of their choice or a community group with resources, that would help them progress beyond their current situation. Knowing that you’re a part of something and can contribute your skills and talents, it makes you feel proud. I want our clients to feel proud of themselves.”

Anna currently leads a team of three case managers, taking on a growing list of clients that seek to improve their lifestyles. “Our clients are not waiting for handouts. They know they have something to offer, they want to do more to become independent. All they need is someone to guide them through the necessary steps and hold them accountable.”

To learn more about the Pathway of Hope, visit our website.

A Message from Our Divisional Leaders

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Aloha to our Salvation Army ‘Ohana,

As the year comes to an end, we are constantly reminded of our duty to serve those in most need: the hungry, homeless, addicted, and hopeless. Major Mark Gilden, our Divisional Secretary for Business & Disaster Services Coordinator, shared a few interesting facts with us:


A human can survive without food for 40 days.
A human can survive without water for about 4 days.

A human can survive without hope for 4 minutes.


Major Gilden’s point is that
hope holds us together and enables us to survive. There are people in our community that need hope more than anything. With your support, The Salvation Army gives others hope, encourage destitute families and individuals to rise above poverty to become sufficient, contributing members of a community. Our initiative, the Pathway of Hope, goes beyond providing basic necessities such as food, water, and clothing. Pathway of Hope identifies and addresses the barriers families face with securing a stable job, safe home, and a community of support. It’s just one of the many programs and initiatives The Salvation Army provides year round.

Please take a look at the impact you have helped us make this year. This impact report is a testament of our promise of Doing The Most Good in our island communities.

We would like to thank our supporters, donors and volunteers for helping us change more than 121,000 lives this year in The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division. May God bless you richly in 2016 and bring you happiness and fulfillment as you are a part of the impact we make in the community.

God bless and Mahalo,
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Majors John and Lani Chamness
Divisional Leaders

“Mahalo for doing this for us.”

The Salvation Army Angel Tree program has served as a vehicle of bridging the generosity of those in the community with those in most need. It is our privilege each year to distribute thousands of toys and gifts to families who are without a home, hurting, or simply in need of some assistance during the holidays. It is through the generosity of those in our community that enable us to bring Christmas cheer to those who need it most.

Tiana and Mohea PaiaTiana and Mohea Paia

Today thousands of families lined up around our Kauluwela Mission Corps in Honolulu to pick up their gifts. Many of them were seniors in need of simple household items such as rice cookers, teapots, blankets, and more. Mothers brought their keiki along to pick up their Angel gifts. One of the mothers was Tiana Paia. She carried her two-year-old daughter, Mohea, in line for more than 30 minutes. “This is going to make her happy. Seeing a gift. Something for her,” said Tiana. “When Mohea’s great grandmother passed away in February, our family was devastated. She always brought us together for the holidays, made it special for us. This year is a little different, which is why I’m so happy we can ask for things we want or need through Angel Tree. This is our second time going through Angel Tree this year…I cannot tell you how happy it makes us to know that someone out there cares enough to help a stranger,” said Tiana. “That’s truly what Christmas is about. Whoever it is that bought my daughter a toy, I thank you. Mahalo for doing this for us.”

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Bringing Christmas to Tripler Army Medical Center

This morning The Salvation Army visited patients at Tripler Army Medical Center’s surgical, pediatrics and intensive care wards to sing Christmas carols, deliver blankets, and teddy bears. Here we sang a soft “Silent Night” to lull a sweet little baby to sleep.

Posted by The Salvation Army – Hawaiian & Pacific Islands on Friday, December 18, 2015

Last Friday, our Divisional Leader Major Lani Chamness and Majors Mark and Vicki Gilden visited Tripler Army Medical Center to bring toys, warm blankets, and Christmas cheer to those that have to spend the holidays in the hospital.

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The officers visited the surgical ward, greeting each patient with a jolly rendition of “Jingle Bells” and warm blankets for chilly nights. For the hardworking and caring staff at Tripler Army Medical Center, the officers gave them coffee tumblers to make sure they stay caffeinated and hydrated for those long hours.

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We thank the Tripler Army Medical Center staff for allowing us to bring Christmas to their patients! We also thank you for the great work you do for those in need.