Tidbits and Thoughts . . .  Legal Aid's Online  News
December 9, 2015
Season's Greetings to You and Your Family!
 "Kinalamten para asentådu na kuminida " -Chamoru
"Building a Just Society"

Now on to Tidbits!
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Legal Aid attorney helps family fight unfair eviction

To Mr. Russ Awakuni (Leeward Office Mananging Attorney)

"My family and I would like to thank you so much for all the work you have done for us. You had made our situation so much easier than I thought it would be. Because of you, my family and I get to spend not only Christmas but more time in our home. I really was worried that we would be out on the streets but after meeting and talking to you, I could relax. You were so professional and also friendly. We are so glad to have had you as our attorney. Once again, thank you. They need more attorneys like you to help families like ours."-The Keller Ohana

Legal Aid Leeward Office managing attorney Russ Awakuni helped the Kellers from being unfairly evicted from their affordable housing unit. With Russ' legal advocacy, the attorney for the housing unit agreed to dismiss the eviction complaint (for a second time). 

Legal Aid Leeward Managing Attorney Russ Awukani with Lisa. Lisa brought a basktet of goodies for the Leeward staff as a way to say thank you for helping her family stay in their home during the holidays.
Legal Aid launches new Justice Campaign 

Legal Aid Honolulu Office on Bethel Street

On behalf of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai ʻ i staff, our board of directors, and the thousands of clients Legal Aid serves each year, we thank you for supporting Legal Aid's past campaigns and fundraisers.
We asked a Legal Aid attorney why she chose to serve the most vulnerable in our   community   and her response resonates   with many of us who have chosen a career in law,   "I believe the world may not be fair but it should be just."  A client Legal Aid helped to keep her family from being homeless shared this story:

Before I came to Legal Aid I was sick, tired, overwhelmed by the system and people who didn't seem to care. Three months in a shelter was a nightmare and I was ready to end it all. Legal Aid helped me understand the process and guide me through complex appeals. They gave me hope in humanity and people caring about justice and decent treatment for the poor, vulnerable, and disenfranchised.
Now, I am in my own apartment . . . . Legal Aid staff were the rare bright spots whose kindness, compassion, and commitment to their job gave me hope that I could get through it and wasn't alone. They are people who do work they love and believe in. 
Her story speaks to our ability to make a difference in someone's life. Getting legal help   can be the difference between life and death   in an abusive relationship.  It can be the difference in deciding if a family   stays in their home or is forced into homelessness.
Legal Aid is embarking on a new, four-year (2016-2019) Justice Campaign and   invites the legal community, businesses, and individuals to join in the work towards building a more just society. We are reaching out to you now, in 2015, for your support beginning in 2016, given that many are currently working on their budgets for 2016. With your help, Legal Aid will have the resources it needs to continue serving our community.
If you would like to know more about our programs and services, we can provide you additional information or schedule a meeting at your convenience. We look forward to including your commitment to the Justice Campaign in 2016.
Thank you for your continued support,  
M. Nalani Fujimori Kaina                                             Jodi Shin Yamamoto
                 Executive Director                                           President, Board of Directors

email: justicecampaign@legalaidhawaii.org 
Legal Aid honors the Hawaii County Bar Association with Pro Bono Award

Legal Aid managing attorneys Valerie Grab (Hilo Office) and Dawn Henry (Kona Office) presented the 65th Anniversary Pro Bono Award to the Hawaii County Bar Association (HCBA). Chris Schlueter, former HCBA president, accepted the award on HCBA's behalf. The HCBA took an extremely active role in staffing and supporting disaster recovery clinics on the Big Island last year for those affected by the lava flow and Hurricane Iselle. Special thank you to Legal Aid board member Gary Murai for facilitating the award presentation. 

Chris Schlueter receives the Pro Bono Award from Valerie Grab (Hilo Managing Attorney) 
and Dawn Henry (Kona Managing Attorney) 
In the Community

Back: AmeriCorps members  Makana Gomes Maya Scimeca Front:  Thomas Christensen Cheryl Bellisario at the  Tripler Hospital Womens Veterans Conference .

AmeriCorps member Maya Scimeca reaches out to homeless veterans at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Fair Housing Civil Rights Advocate Madonna Castro-Perez presents to students from Remington College about the Fair Housing Act.
Christilei Hessler joins the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii's Asset Protection Unit as new Staff Attorney focusing on Fair Housing Enforcement

The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii welcomes Christilei Hessler, Esq. as its newest staff attorney in the firm's Asset Protection Unit. Ms. Hessler will focus her practice in the areas of fair housing enforcement, housing, and consumer protection.
Ms. Hessler previously served as a law clerk for Judge Rom Trader and Judge Virginia Crandall for the First Circuit Court of the State of Hawaii.
She is a graduate of Santa Clara University and the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii, Manoa.

Thank you for your support!

Lynn Inafuku
Jhamandas Watumull Fund and its Board of Directors
William Durham
Betty Medeiros
Monica Haboush Trust
Kevin Baris
Kazu's Repair LLC
New Thought Center of Hawaii
Carlsmith Ball, LLP
Jennifer Phelan in honor of William K. Ahia III
Saturnina Villasista
Please nominate Legal Aid

In October, Servco Pacific Inc. sold its 500,000th Toyota, Lexus and Scion vehicle since becoming a distributor in 1958. And to show its appreciation for reaching this milestone, it is giving $250,000 to 10 local Hawaii nonprofits.

Please nominate and ask your friends to nominate Legal Aid as one of the deserving non-profits. You can submit your nominations online by December 18, 2015 or by going to  www.servco.com/thanks/


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