I went from a teen pushing a cart to a man serving God
"I wouldn't have this beautiful life without The Bowery Mission."
My name is Charles, and at 15, I ran away from home.
My friends and I were deep into drugs and I wanted to get away. I ended up in Manhattan, pushing a cart down the street when a guy outside The Bowery Mission said, "Hey kid, you look tired and hungry," and invited me in for a meal. Since I was underage, they called my mother. But I never forgot about the Mission.
After that, I enrolled in the Job Corps. I met a great friend there, but one Sunday, he went to the store, got into an argument and was killed. I told God, "I'm mad. I'm a kid, and I just lost a friend." I ran away from God for a long time after that.
I joined the National Guard and got married. But I never dealt with my drug addiction and it destroyed my family. That's when I remembered The Bowery Mission.
Right away, the Mission gave me another chance. They made me an usher in the chapel, where I greeted homeless men and women and helped them feel welcomed. I would cry out to God to take away my taste for drugs. And God did it. Through the Life Transformation Program, I met many guys who supported me. Looking back, I can say that my life started with The Bowery Mission.
My family gave me a second chance, too. I go to church every Sunday with my mother. My wife has been patient and forgiving. And I landed a great job that pays well and gives retirement benefits.
Today, I'm grateful to be connected with other graduates in The Bowery Mission's Alumni Program. I want to give back and help at the Mission any way I can. I share my story every chance I get, and I'm proud that people trust me and love me.
I first came to the Mission as a teenager looking for a change, and now I have it. I wouldn't have this beautiful life without The Bowery Mission.
Broken men who come to The Bowery Mission, like Charles, need care, compassion and help to rebuild their lives. Your gifts help make that happen. Please give generously.
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