Helping Hands Hawaii: Making the most of a second chance

Helping Hands Hawaii: Making the most of a second chance

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii News Now is partnering once again with Helping Hands Hawaii to share the stories of families in need.  This holiday season these families are coming forward to tell how they have overcome difficulties to get where they are, and how the generosity of others can make their holidays a little bit brighter.

Karen Amina is happy now.  She has an easy way about her, a comfort in being.

"Life is good, I'm clean and sober for 6 months now, stay with my family, finally" she says.

However, times weren't always so good—and they're still a challenge.  Just six months ago, Karen was separated from her husband and child.  She was living on the beach and using drugs.

"I was hitting the bottom, and having a tough time getting back up" she recalls.

Fortunately for Karen, she would have a moment of clarity; an instant where life's meaning and value becomes apparent.  It would come, however, in the most unfortunate of ways.

"I was crossing the street to go to 7-11 to buy a small bag of rice, and I was in the crosswalk.  All the other cars stopped except one and he hit me and dragged me about 30 feet".

Karen suffered multiple scrapes, and chipped a few teeth.  Otherwise, she was uninjured.

"She had angels on her side".  That's how her husband Hiram describes her good fortune.

She knew she had been given a second chance at life, and that she had to make the most of it.

"I just felt that I had to get off drugs already, go home to my family already".

So she did.  Karen quit cold-turkey.  With the help and support of her family and friends, she walked away from drugs.

She's been sober for half a year.

While she admits it's a challenge, it's one she's happy to undertake, given the fact that she is back with her husband Hiram, their son Hilama.

Hilama is an energetic six year old who is a student at Maili Elementary School.

"He takes the place of 10 kids" Karen says with a laugh.

"He's good---when he wants to be" Hiram chuckles.

Hiram and Karen are asking for a bicycle for Hilama, or some educational toys.  As for themselves, Karen would like an inexpensive MP3 player for herself and a gift card or wallet for her husband.  The reason she is asking on his behalf is because he says he already has the best Christmas gift possible.

"My present is the both of them.  We're still together.  It's the best gift of all".

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