HONOLULU (KHON2) —
“For me, I lost my job, I lost my home, and I certainly lost my life to caregiving,” says Savy Makalena, Co-Founder of Gimme A Break.
Savy Makelena was inspired to help caregivers, being a caregiver herself for 5 years to her parents.
“I don’t regret any of it. I have some of the greatest memories with my parents and moving in with them. It’s something I’ll always cherish. But caregivers are dealing with major changes in their lives and their wallets. The statistic is that 60% of caregivers lose their jobs. They either have to resign or terminate due to the demands of caregiving,” says Makalena.
So Makalena, along with Co-Founders Melanie Nistal and Lori Okawa-Alvarez started Gimme A Break.
“The hardest thing for a caregiver to do is to accept help. Just become part of our community and know that we’ll hold hands with you. I know you got this, but we got you too,” says Makalena.
The non-profit offers free, weekly online group chats from “Make a Difference Monday” to “Wellness Wednesday.”
“Join us and share, cry, laugh and learn. Get that weekly shot in the arm in our support sessions,” says Makalena.
They also provide a physical break with monthly outings like their recent spa day in Ka’aawa.
“We were all able to go through the tears, pain and laughter with so much resources. Everyone kind of walked in with their heads down and they walked out with their heads up and their shoulders back and big smiles. Just really bringing back the joys of caregiving,” smiles Makalena.
Again, their services are free and they’re there to support you online or in-person at the Ohana Hale Marketplace.
“Caregivers are kind of that invisible, isolated ones. We’re coming out and we’re going to come out strong and find our balance and support one another in a great community and hopefully touch lives everywhere around the whole world because we all need a little kindness right now,” says Makalena.