Giving Back to Others in Need

The topic of homelessness is something that Kathleen “Letti” Fierro is familiar with because she has lived it. As a child, Letti’s mother battled drug addiction while raising three children, Letti and her two siblings. Originally from California, they came to Hawaii looking for a new start with family who were living here.

Unfortunately, that plan did not work out and the family bounced around from sleeping at friend’s homes and shelters. With a twist of fate, they found CCH’s Mã‘ili Land Transitional Housing Program which provides shelter and services to help empower families with the tools and support to secure permanent housing of their own. With the help they received at Maili Land, they were able to transition to affordable housing and restart what they were seeking as a family – stability and the confidence to look toward the future.

Letti shares that this year, her mother celebrated 13 years of sobriety and her siblings are now pursuing higher education. She has also has experienced positive, life-changing opportunities in her life as she was named Miss Diamond Head USA at the 2017 scholarship pageant!

This past Christmas, Letti decided that she wanted to do something special for Mã‘ili Land and “give back” to place that gave her family help and hope. She coordinated a Christmas Toy Drive for the Maili Land youth with the help of her friends. Sun Morikawa and Ka Ki Tam of Sweet Mango at Kapolei Commons Mall got other merchants involved in the toy drive; along with elementary school principal Steve Ross and his students at Island Pacific Academy. Through the collaboration, each youth at Maili Land received a special Christmas gift from the drive. Letti, Sun, Ka Ki and Steve brought the gifts and holiday cheer to the Mã‘ili Land Christmas Party. Letti also shared a special message to the youth by sharing her story as a youth at Maili Land and her journey to her success at the scholarship pageant and her dreams of higher education.

We are so thankful for donors, volunteers and supporters like Letti for their work in the community helping those most in need during challenging times. Mahalo for your support!