Helping make keiki’s dreams come true

  • Courtesy photo Irish-Marie Julius and her family spent five fun-filled days in Disneyland in October, courtesy of the Big Island’s A Dream Come True Organization.

Created in 1985 by Hawaii Fire Department personnel, the mission of the nonprofit A Dream Come True is to fulfill dreams of the Big Island’s terminally and seriously ill children between the ages of 4 and 17.

To date, 89 Big Island children were granted their dreams — trips to desired destinations or personal items they longed for — or their families were assisted with critical needs.

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A Dream Come True President Lloyd Narimatsu said while some children dream of the world, others ask for simple things with the hope of making the lives of their family easier. He remembers fondly of one young child (with only months to live) who asked only for a washer and dryer so his mother, who didn’t have a vehicle, would no longer have to walk a mile to wash his soiled clothing every day.

“This one child broke our hearts, and it (is) this type of request that makes it all worthwhile to persevere through these 35 years,” Narimatsu said.

Others who took part in the program through the years, such as Fire Chief Darren Rosario, fondly remember making dreams come true for Big Island keiki.

“It was something a lot of Fire Department personnel would give up their extra time for,” he said. “It’s just a small way we can give back, and putting a smile on the child’s face after going through so much in life is priceless.”

A Dream Come True has always been dependent on businesses, community organizations and individual donors for its funding. All money derived from donations is used strictly for Hawaii Island’s children in need.

However, because of the immense positive presence of the Make A Wish Foundation and the great work it is doing in granting wishes for Hawaii’s terminally ill children, A Dream Come True will continue the goal of assisting seriously ill children but will expand the scope of help with an initiative called “It’s A Family Affair.”

How can we help the families of our seriously ill children? To make life easier, whether it’s to build an entry ramp, to help with caregiving expenses or other related assistance requests.

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A Dream Come True Board Member and Assistant Fire Chief Darwin Okinaka stated, “We want to continue our quest in helping a family to make life a little easier for their child in need.”

For applications or any questions, call Jean Miyamoto at 959-7990 or email adct.bigisland@gmail.com. Or visit adreamcometruehawaii.org for more information.

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