Laulima families receive much-needed Christmas cheer


Christmas came early for families who are making great strides in getting back on their feet.

They received gifts delivered by Santa’s helpers via the Laulima Giving Program, some from people they’ve never met until today and others that they may never meet.

Robert Half OfficeTeam employees have been donating $5 on “Jeans Friday” all year knowing they’ll be adopting a Laulima family.

“The list goes on and on of people donating everything from gift cards. Hawaii Intercontinental donated a bunch of boogie boards for the boys,” said Nathan Whitaker of Robert Half OfficeTeam.

Little Genesis has had to go to the doctors, therapists, and Shriners Hospitals for Children a lot in her one-and-a-half years. Her mother, Uilani, says she is such a blessing.

“We usually turn our backs on people because we was afraid for get hurt, hard for trust people, but everything changed ever since we had her,” she explained.

Uilani and Elliott were both living on the streets when they met a few years ago. Now Elliott works and they often have his four boys from a previous relationship and Uilani is close to getting her diploma, and takes care of her mom.

They’re saving up to find permanent housing.

OfficeTeam also gifted 18-year-old Michaela, who’s earning her nursing degree. Her parents on the mainland are under financial strain because of dad’s medical bills, and she has suffered seizures since an accident a few years ago.

Still, she works, is on a partial merit-based scholarship, and got student loans.

“It means a lot, because if there’s anything that I’ve learned getting here, life is beautiful but not everything is pretty, so it’s really been a blessing to get all of it,” Michaela said.

“Good opportunities can come to good people,” Uilani said. “Even though I messed up before, but sometimes you have to forget about the past and move on and you get blessed along the way.”

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