Seeing her children smile again

Nicole Puente
Nicole Puente spends quality time with her son, Andre (left) and daughter, Audriana.
HONOLULU – Nicole Puente is the first to admit that her divorce six years ago from her children’s father wasn’t easy on them.

It pains them still.

But the 35-year-old patient-care representative for a local hospital insists that staying in an abusive relationship for the sake of her two children — Audriana,13, and Andre, 11 — was not an option.

“I needed as much help as possible for all of us to understand that the divorce was permanent,” Puente said, referring to the role Kids Hurt Too Hawaii played in bringing solace to her children.

“Kids Hurt Too Hawaii helped them to see that they weren’t by themselves,” Puente said. “They saw other kids going through the same situation. It made them more aware of their feelings and helped them better express their feelings.”

Puente’s two children are among the more than 250 grieving children, between ages 3 and 19, who every year turn to Kids Hurt Too Hawaii for a safe space to express feelings about their loss of a parent to such factors as divorce, death and incarceration.

Raising funds for worthy cause

Grief-stricken children participate in a mentoring activity at Kids Hurt Too Hawaii.
Grief-stricken children participate in a mentoring activity at Kids Hurt Too Hawaii.

HONOLULU — Kids Hurt Too Hawaii has embarked on a campaign to raise $200,000 for a worthy cause.

Proceeds go towards providing 250 grief-stricken children with a safe space to express feelings about their loss of a parent to such factors as a divorce, death or incarceration.

It costs Kids Hurt Too Hawaii $900 per child annually to serve the 250 children, between ages 3 and 19, who turn to the nonprofit organization for help with their grief over the loss of a parent.

That comes out to about $75 per month for free services that include up to 17 hours of counseling; at least two outings intended to lift spirits and boost self esteem; as well as healthy meals and snacks.

“Our hope is to appeal to donors who believe in what our organization represents, and who feel that our organization is worthy of their hard-earned money on an ongoing basis,” said Cynthia White, executive director of Kids Hurt Too Hawaii.

About Us

Kids Hurt Too Hawaii was founded in 2001. Google Kids Hurt Too Hawaii and take a virtual tour of our program at the Kukui Center, 245 North Kukui Street, Suites 102 & 203, Honolulu, HI 96817 or for more information please call us at (808) 545-5683.

Services are free for participant families and HFYC members, supported by donations. To hear from children about our services click on this link: Kids share. It becomes active after you follow the read more prompt.

Services include:

1) Kids hurt too – peer support and mentoring programs for orphans, foster children, and children separated from one or both parents due to divorce, incarceration, or other causes.

2) Hawaii Foster Youth Coalition (HFYC) – a youth led group of current and former foster youths, ages 14-24, who provide education, advocacy, and support to help improve the foster care system so transitioning age youths have hope and can reach their goals. See more about them on the link to their website.

3) Educational services that include training volunteers in facilitating children’s grief, trauma, and mentoring; presentations on children’s grief and trauma, training in group work with children, and more.

4) Crisis interventions for families impacted by suicide, homicide, and violent deaths and suicide prevention for children and teens.

5) Kid’s Heart Project for providing and developing grief and trauma support programs for children and families impacted by the March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster.

Parent loss devastates children and families. It may lead to child abuse or neglect as families struggle with adjusting to unwanted changes. The death of or separation from one or both parents may result in health, mental health, and behavior problems as children’s coping mechanisms are overwhelmed by the stress of such a major life change. When a parent is missing, it tends to create a social stigma that blocks families from receiving the community support they need in a time of crisis. Our programs strengthen families, bringing them closer in a time of tragic loss and engaging them in needed community resources. We improve children’s health and behavior by easing the suffering and pain that accompanies parent loss.

Training Opportunities

Next Children’s Grief and Trauma Facilitator and Mentor Training

August 2016

To register please contact Kids Hurt Too Hawaii at (808) 545-5683 or [email protected]

All four days are required prior to working with children in peer support groups. If you are interested call 545-5683 or send in your registration.

We have upgraded our training to include up to date information on childhood trauma and strategies for working with traumatized children.

Volunteers are needed to facilitate in peer support groups with children, teens, or adults. We ask for a one year commitment to provide consistency for the children. Volunteer time can be as little as four hours once a month or four hours twice a month. The cost is $125 or you can apply for a sponsorship if the fee is an obstacle for you.

The training is available for those who do not plan to or are unable to volunteer but the cost is $550.

January 2014 training graduates with two repeating the skills portion of the training. Welcome and thank you all.