This story was shared with me after we announced our sponsorship of the Teen Challenge Freedom Run and I could not help but pass it along.  Together if we can help just one kid or young adult make the right decisions and save themselves and their families this unbearable pain we have truly made a difference. Please join us on September 6th for this amazing event.


He was a dark, tiny little Mexican, who was always the first to lend a helping hand.  And he did it because that’s how he was wired. Doing yard work for old folks, pushing kids on swings that needed a push, buying double at convenience stores to split with the homeless out front.  People suffering really bothered him.  Even at age 9, and it never changed.  He was always the same.  His friends made fun of him and got irritated because the time he would spend on these antics, but deep down I think they appreciated him.   To know a human being could care like that.

He had a smile that put you at ease; it was big and white, and it liked to kiss everyone.  Even if he knew the receivers weren’t particularly fond of  it.  Male/female – didn’t matter.  He was a kisser, a hugger, a violator of personal space. Knew the pipsqueak since he was 9 years old.  The number one friend of my son.  They went thru thick and thin together, as boys do.  Rico chose a different path than my son.  He  didn’t have tools to cope with life’s whatevers.

 At any rate, last year Rico mixed some alcohol with some prescription drugs that quite a few kids are into, and he snuck into his mom’s room and he cuddled up next her feet.  She thought it was weird , but she was glad he was home.  When she went to wake him up in the morning… He didn’t .

I can’t imagine, till this very day, how a mother would feel finding her son like that.

This is just one story probably among many.  What you’re helping out with is such a needed thing in a very broken system.  These kids aren’t a lost cause.  They are people who made bad decisions.  If they have choices and tools, then maybe their lives could be different?

I believe with purpose, passion, and love — anything is possible.  What kids need.  I guess it’s what we all need.

I want to thank you for lending support to such a good cause.

My run is for Rico.