Family Stories

Stepping in to Help Out

Donna Hodges (right) gets helpful tips from Cynthia White.

HONOLULU — A difference can start with one person.

Just ask Donna Hodges, a 53-year-old Makaha resident who adopted her two grandsons nearly five years ago after their mother could no longer care for them.

To hear Hodges tell it, her 33-year-old daughter, Rosina, never recovered emotionally from when, at age 7, her father died in prison.

Her daughter’s chronic mental-health problems left her grandsons with two choices: living in foster care or with their grandmother.

“Kids Hurt Too Hawaii really helped me give them hope,” said Hodges. “With my grandsons, who were ages 6 and 7 at the time, it was helping them vent and share their feelings. Now, at age 9 and 10, and watching me go through chemotherapy for breast cancer, it’s using woodcraft to help them overcome inner feelings. They would take their feelings out on the wood by sanding it and sanding it. Kids Hurt Too has been a way for them to see that they don’t have to keep their feelings bottled in. I really believe in Kids Hurt Too Hawaii.”