HONOLULU - The holidays: Christmas trees, feasts and Santa Claus.

But there are many people struggling here in Hawaii and those worries are amplified during the holidays.

Island News begin a week of "Adopt a Family," sharing stories of island families in need and how you can help.

A woman who has faced much tragedy this year preservers and tries to carry on the Christmas spirit of her late daughter. 

"It's really hard, I mean she was like - we were like two sisters always together. All my girls, we all did things together. But she was the special one cuz that was my baby," Ethylene Rivera said. 

Rivera, talking about her daughter Dana, who was killed in July.

Police classified the case as a homicide but have yet to make an arrest.

Dana left behind four beautiful children and Ethylene says they are struggling to adjust to life without their mom.

2017 has not been nice to the Rivera ohana.

Ethylene's mother died in January and her sister lost her partner recently too.

"We had like three family loss within a year and I cannot have any more you know," Rivera said. 

She lives with her dad, they take care of him.

And now, she focuses on making the holidays special for her grandchildren.  She says her daughter would have wanted that.

"Christmas was her joy," Rivera said. 

Unfortunately,  Rivera hasn't been able to see her grandchildren for a while and that is her one and only Christmas wish for herself.

"That's the biggest thing, is to have the kids to come home for a little bit, with us and celebrate with us," Rivera said. 

A desire to share the holidays with the grandchildren she loves but she needs your help to make their Christmas a merry one.

She'd love a boogie board or skateboards for Cyprus and Cyrus, little Cyzen loves trucks and cars. Star likes dolls and finger nail polish and loves to draw.

Gift cards to Walmart and Target would help by clothes for the ever growing keiki.

If you'd like to adopt Ethylene and her grand kids, give our adopt a family line a call at 440-3800.