Waikiki Woman Spreads Happiness Through Hugs

Dotty Burns
Dotty Burns
Joan Naguwa
Joan Naguwa

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - It's one of the great sayings of all time: "hugs are free."

In this edition of "Random Act of Kindness," we meet a terrific woman in Waikiki, who greets anyone who enters the neighborhood community center with a nice, warm hug.

Each and every morning at the Waikiki Community Center, Dotty Burns tracks down visitors and friends alike, and gives them their daily hug.

A severe case of arthritis prompted Dotty to leave the "Great White North" of Ontario, Canada, back in 1964, and head to the warmth of our island paradise.

Five years later, the arthritis left, but Dotty stayed. And Waikiki is the greater for it.

"It's from me.  I love to give them, and I get one, too. See?" says Dotty. "Very few who don't like it."

"Dotty is a wonderful person," explains Waikiki Community Center executive director, Joan Naguwa.  "She just naturally spreads her aloha by hugging everybody she knows.  She'll hug all her friends and she'll hug strangers, too.  It's just a natural part of what we do at the Waikiki community center."

But for the regulars here at the community center, Dotty is more than just a heart-warming, hugging machine.

At the ripe-young age of 83, Dotty shows everyone exactly how to live life to its fullest.

"Dotty is an older person who manages to live by herself, take care of herself, go out in the community, do volunteer work and she's really an example of how to age healthily and graciously in the community," says Naguwa. 

"She very independent, not dependent on anybody for support as much as she can.  And that's  a  great way to live as long as you can."

"I love it here," adds Dotty.  "I think it's a wonderful place and I love the people." 

Every Wednesday, we will feature the Random Acts of Kindness recipient of the week on both KHNL News 8 First at Five and on K5 News at Nine.

You can pick up a nomination form at any Big City Diner and drop it in the box located at the restaurant, or you can send us an email at kindness@khnl.com.

Be sure to include your name, phone number, the person you are nominating and why they should be nominated.

Selected nominees will receive a $25 gift certificate courtesy of Big City Diner.