This article is part of a larger series of articles about the Boston Rescue Mission, and organization for which I am raising money this winter. Other posts in this series discuss 1) why I decided to start this fundraiser in the first place 2) Why the Boston Rescue Mission 3) The meals we cook and serve while volunteering 4) The recipe for the delicious bacon wrapped pork loin that we cook and serve to the homeless, and 5) A Personal Story from Billy O, a former client
Happy New Years Eve!
To close out 2011, I've decided to share stories about two people who actually spent some time at the Boston Rescue Mission.
Yesterday we heard a little bit from Billy O, a former client who now runs the kitchen at the Boston Rescue Mission.
Today, I'd like to introduce you to Anthony.
Anthony is one of the nicest guys around. He's sweet, friendly, and funny. He's gone through some pretty tough times in the past, and it's super encouraging to see how far he's come.
I visited the Boston Rescue Mission earlier this year to meet him and hear his story so I could share it with you.
Anthony was born into a 2-parent home, with seven brothers and sisters. He was the middle child, so often he got forgotten a bit. The year Anthony turned thirteen, his father left the family. Soon afterward, Anthony started using drugs and alcohol. For the next twenty years, he struggled with drugs and alcohol.
Then Anthony had a son. Anthony came to the Boston Rescue Mission to get help. His son was only 2 at the time, and he was raising him alone.
"To go from a year to two years of just moving from drinking/drugging to raising a child that has all of these issues - crying all the time, all these things I wasn't familiar with - was frightening at the beginning."
"But as I got to know people, I started to really see. I was blessed with knowing they've been through this, and I can learn something from them. Through the program here I've learned the patience, the understanding to see if something is wrong or something is good. And it has helped while raising him up."
"This is a spiritual program, which really helped me along because I am a believer in God, and it played a role in my program."
Soon after Anthony graduated from the program, he came to the Mission asking if he could help out.
"I felt that this was a good fit for me because helping people is something I felt like I needed to do to stay off drugs and alcohol."
I've been working here for about 5 years. I continue to grow with the Mission. It's a great organization. Each and every person here has a story, from John Samaan all the way down to the clients."
"I have a 7 year old son and I am a single dad. I can go to any one of these people here and give them questions about what I should do, like 'is this normal?'"
Anthony says the age-old saying is really true. "It takes a village to raise a child. That has been really really helpful in my life, in my growth at the Boston Rescue Mission."
Anthony has been doing tons of stuff at the Mission. Not only is he head of housekeeping, he is also one of the board members. Last spring, Anthony trained for and ran the Boston Marathon, all to benefit the Boston Rescue Mission.
It's incredibly inspiring to see how he has turned away from a life of drugs and alcohol to one where he is helping others in such profound ways. I'm especially touched knowing that his son will grow up with a father, which is something Anthony himself did not really have.
Thanks so much Anthony for taking the time out to share your story with us.
I am so inspired by people like Anthony and Billy O who, as a result of being blessed, give so much back to the organizations that helped them. Seeing and meeting dedicated people like Anthony and Billy just makes me all the more excited and committed to supporting the Boston Rescue Mission.
Thanks so much everyone! Looking forward to an awesome new year!
To donate, click on the image below and check the box for "Tiny Urban Kitchen Fundraiser."
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