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12 siblings ask for help to surprise parents with home repairs for Christmas

By Shannon Ballard Photojournalist: John Thain - 7:44 PM December 23, 2016
ANCHORAGE –

Despite being surrounded by family, Anu Pole’o says it’s hard being home from school this Christmas.

He and his brother, Alvin Pole’o, both play college football. When they arrived in Anchorage for the holidays, they found their family’s home in need of some serious improvements. Their parents, Maili and Falua Pole’o, have a dozen children and currently feed and support 15 people in their three bedroom, one bathroom house.

Pole'o family

Pole’o family portrait that hangs in their home. ( John Thain / KTVA )

The bathroom floor is sinking, windows are broken and there are problems with the electricity.

“Its kind of sad because there are so many kids living in here and so we got the good years out of the house and the little kids have to just deal with whatever is left,” Anu said.

The Pole’o siblings say their parents are the kind of people who go out of their way to give to others but never ask for help of their own.

“My dad is a hard-working man. He doesn’t complain and he stresses education on us. ‘Go to school right after high school,’ so we don’t have to work as hard as he does,” Alvin said. “Then my mom, she’s very loving. She takes care of everybody,”

Anyone keeping track would tell you, the Pole’o family has seen its share of dark financial days. Anu and his siblings hope to add some light to their parent’s life.

“We are usually are the ones that get the presents and this year we want to do something to show that we are grateful for them,” Anu said.

Anu and Alvin are the two oldest sons. They are only in Alaska for holidays and don’t have much money of their own to help with needed repairs to the house so they’ve decided to start a GoFundMe page and surprise their parents with the money for Christmas.

Anu says his parents are humble and he’s not sure how are going to react when they find out what he and his siblings have done.

“I think they are going to be happy, but I think they are going to be taken back because now everyone knows,” Anu said. “We love them. This is why we are doing this.”

Maili and Falua have no idea what they’re kids are up to. So far, the GoFundMe page has raised about $2,000.

That’s enough to start repairs, but it will take a lot more cash to fix some long-term problems.

If you or anyone you know is handy with fixing electrical problems, sagging floors or broken windows, contact KTVA by email at problemsolvers@ktva.com.

KTVA 11’s Shannon Ballard can be reached via email or on Facebook and Twitter.

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