Tongasiniloa, (Tonga) is his name and Spiderman is his game! Tonga is a four-year-old boy with a heart of gold. This young man, despite the challenges of life, still has a wonderful imagination and spirit.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I asked.
Without hesitation Tonga replied, “I’m going to be Spider Man!” He then asked me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“Maybe I should be a doctor so I can help people,” I answered.
“No. You should be Catwoman and you (pointing at Uncle Jesse, another preschool staff) should be Batman,” He suggested. “Are you afraid of monsters?” he asked.
“Monsters don’t exist,” I told him.
“Yes they do, and they come out at night. It’s cold and dark at night, too.” Tonga began to share his experiences, giving me a glimpse of a typical night Tonga and his family goes through living in the “bushes.”
To create their home in the heart of the bushes at the Wai‘anae Boat Harbor, Tonga and his family have set up a tent and other items. They have a camping lifestyle for now but they are pushing for a place of their own to call home. Dad has been searching for a job weekly while mom cares for Tonga and takes him to Ka Pa‘alana Preschool.
Thanksgiving is special for this family not only because of the significance of the holiday, but because Tonga was born on November 27th, Thanksgiving Day this year. When a preschool staff asked Tonga what he wanted for his birthday he said, “Food.” Mom and Dad were worried that Tonga would be sad this year on his birthday because they had no gift to give him. However, Tonga’s preschool teachers pulled together to surprise him with a few birthday gifts. He was excited! Mom and Dad shared their gratitude with the staff members.
There is still another holiday the family has to overcome, Christmas. With no job and no income, Tonga and his brother may not receive any gifts this year. This family has struggled a lot this year but the children have remained in good health and spirit. If you would like to “adopt” this family for Christmas and give them a warm holiday season, please let us know. Contact our outreach staff at 808-596-8711. Perhaps you could be his next hero.