(By Nicole Crites /PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK)
The holidays are a time for families to come together and count blessings.
And one Valley family says they have a lot to be thankful for because if it wasn’t for a local non-profit helping map out a path to a brighter, sober future, they might not even be together today.
Keanna Curry takes time as often as she can with her little boys to pause and reflect on the happiness they have today and struggles they’ve overcome.
“It took a lot for me to be the mom that I knew I wanted to be,” Keanna said.
Hooked on methamphetamine for eight years, Keanna relapsed twice, trying to get clean, not knowing how.
The pull of addiction had her living on the streets, working on the streets, lost.
“I started losing everything. Losing my car, losing my job, my house. Then I started losing myself,” Keanna said.
She even lost her boys.
Curry’s father, Al, refused to give up.
“It was very, very tough for a father,” Al Curry said.
He had a chance encounter with a counselor who said she could help.
He gave her business card to his daughter.
“I wrote the number down in my notebook, and left it there for a year,” Keanna remembered.
Finally a year later, she found the courage to call for help.
“From that moment, she just had me connected and did anything and everything she could to help me get the training and the skills that I needed to be successful,” Keanna said.
Marie Sullivan runs the Valley nonprofit AWEE, Arizona Women’s Education and Employment.
“The idea that ‘I’m not worthy, I’m not good enough, I’ve done too many things to recover, I can’t move forward,’ those are tapes people play every day,” Sullivan said.
Curry went through AWEE’s SOAR program. They got her on a routine, worked on job skills and even paid to put her through certification to become a peer support specialist.
“They helped me with gas, they helped me with rent, my electricity. I am so thankful and it was definitely life changing!” Keanna said.
“It’s about better tomorrows,” Sullivan explained.
Keanna is now using the struggles she’s overcome to connect with others who need help and was just honored as one of AWEE’s 2016 Faces of Success.
“It’s just, it’s just been a miracle!” Al said.
And there’s just something so symbolic about the spirit of the season that connects with this family’s story.
“It helps me understand I went through what I went through for a reason — to be where I am now and to be able to help people who are struggling like I was and to give them hope,” Keanna said.
It’s a time to believe in the possibilities of an unseen future.
“It’s hope. It’s aspirations. It’s new beginnings. Because after the season, there’s a new tomorrow,” said Sullivan.
It’s a time to embrace the gratitude of your blessings.
“Never give up! Don’t give up on your children. Don’t give up on your family members. Because as bad as it looks, keep the faith that things are gonna turn around. I’m living proof!” said Al.
And for Keanna, it’s time to be thankful for the gifts in her life, the unconditional love and support.
She said she knows the mistakes of her past, while chapters in her life, don’t define her story.