Where do you go on a Saturday
to brighten the lives of the kids in Glendale?
A big thank you to Scottsdale Bible Church’s volunteers for helping the PIA Team put a fresh colorful coat of paint on the walls at the Glendale Youth Center as part of Serve Our City Day! Everyone including the Glendale Youth Center Staff worked hard to get it accomplished. The kids are going to love all the bright colors!
How an Accident
Can Become a Blessing!
by: Kim Humphrey
PAL Board Chairman
I used to think that there were coincidences- until faith got ahold of me and I was reminded that nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Parents of Addicted Loved ones is a relatively new non-profit as we have been incorporated for just about two and half years. Having come from working with other non-profits that were well established, I knew it would take time for us to grow into our potential. The worst drug epidemic in the history of the United States is upon us and people are slowly realizing that our systems and resources are woefully inadequate.
PAL fills an interesting niche in that we work primarily with parents of loved ones that suffer with addiction issues, but interestingly we have found that when parents get healthier in the responses to their loved ones, many times the loved ones begin to seek help for themselves. One thing I try to remind myself and our board, is that we need to “stick with the faith factor and things will work out.” Essentially, if this organization is meant to grow we need to believe that God will provide. Of course, we need to do our part and keep working and focusing on our mission, but sometimes you just have to smile when you see how things work out.
We have one person on our board, Jerry, that loves to go after corporate and larger donations. Most of us really don’t like the idea of asking for funds but he is the exception. He loves it. He loves our cause, and his passion is undeniable. He and his wife are PAL facilitators and have been attending meetings for over 2 years.
Recently, his 24-year-old son who has been in recovery and sober for a few months was involved in a minor accident as he backed into a car in a parking lot. The driver of the other car got out to assess the damage and when he saw the young man, he braced himself for the excuses and what he assumed might not be an amicable response. However, the young man immediately told him he was sorry and that it was his fault and that he simply had not seen him. He went on to tell him that he wanted to take care of the damage and that if he would consider taking the car to a collision center that his father directs, that he would arrange to pay for it. Considering the very minor damage, he agreed and later called and took his car over to the repair shop.
Jerry’s son had called his father and told him what had occurred and asked him if he would help out and that he would pay for it. None of this may seem very remarkable to those reading, but when you are dealing with someone with a drug addiction, taking responsibility, being honest and trying to make things right are all foreign concepts, even when they are recently in recovery.
As the gentleman told Jerry about the accident, he admitted that he was skeptical when Jerry’s son backed into his car that this would end well. He assumed from past experiences and based on the tattoos he saw, that most likely he was going to have to take care of the damage on his own as well as deal with a bad attitude.
The gentleman told Jerry that he was shocked and later felt guilty about feeling that way, stating, “your son was nothing but polite, courteous, and was not only sorry, but asked me if I was ok and assured me he would get my car taken care of.” The damage was so minor the gentleman waited while it was repaired and this gave him an opportunity to talk to Jerry further.
When Jerry heard how his son had reacted, he responded in disbelief, not being accustomed to his son taking responsibility. This led to the gentleman asking why he was so surprised about his son’s reaction. This led Jerry to share his story, the pain of having his son become addicted, end up living on the streets and getting involved in crime and many other problems, how he had transformed into someone he never thought possible.The gentlemen asked Jerry how he was doing now. Jerry told him how well he was doing because he had found PAL – and he went on to tell him how he now facilitates a PAL meeting and how he sees it helping so many people.
The conversation ended with the car fixed, and the gentlemen leaving, only to call back a few days later and ask Jerry if he would mind meeting him for lunch. Jerry met him a couple of days later and at lunch the gentleman reiterated how appreciative he was of how his son had treated him, that he was so impressed with how all of this transpired that he wanted to pass something along. He handed Jerry an envelope. Jerry opened the envelope and there was a letter addressed to PAL – it stated that he wanted to provide some financial assistance to PAL for their amazing work and to dedicate the gift to Jerry’s son for his kindness and thoughtfulness when involved in an accident.
Jerry was incredibly proud of his son that day, for the man he was becoming and the major changes in his life, a life he was sure just a few months ago would likely end in death or prison. And yet, his son, now sober, had taken responsibility. Jerry was no longer ashamed and was willing to share his story with a perfect stranger, whose car got hit by a recovering drug addict and decided to write a check for $5,000 to PAL. He further added that he wanted to do more in the future. I’m pretty sure that was all just a coincidence, but I’m going to stick with the faith factor and I’m sure things will work out.
You’ll want to join us for this important event, PAL’s annual Hope Banquet on October 28 at 6:00 PM at North Phoenix Baptist Church in Phoenix. This year the event is entitled “Journey to Hope” as we celebrate the amazing journey to finding hope in these extraordinary times.
We will have a fun filled evening, of music, great food, a silent auction and some great inspirational speakers including Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone who has made the opioid epidemic a priority to address in this community and Debbie Moak, PAL mom and former Director of the Arizona Governor’s Office of Youth, Faith and Family. Ms. Moak will be joined by her son, Jeff, to share their journey.