I’ve learned tolerance in my recovery. I’ve learned to be caring and help others. I’ve learned how to live in a full house and wait my turn. Addiction is something I struggled with before I even knew what it was. Now that I’m able to identify it for what it is, I know what I need to do. I have a desire to help people. I also have a desire to encourage people that want to live a new way of life and be free of the entanglement of possessions, drugs, bad habits, and lies. I always wanted an opportunity to do right and I always thought I would be rescued by a prince or something. Who would have known I would be doing the rescuing?

Here are a few things you can do for others at any time of the day.

    1. Help friends troubleshoot devices so they can stay in touch with their loved ones.
    2. Mentor those who ask for advice.
    3. Cook meals for people who don’t know how to cook.

Rachell was one of the early participants and organizers. She is the house manager of a sober living home where many of the early participants lived. She had a newborn during the time of her participation in the project and was unable to stay because of her work schedule and familial responsibilities.

Her skill is about giving to people even when your arms are full (in her case, they were full from carrying her baby). Rachel wanted to share that by giving you help others help others, who help others. Before leaving the project, she was working on an exercise to create a map tracking the different impacts, past and present, that branch out from the single act. Each act has tendrils of impact, both personal and external. The map reveals the lifespan of each act of giving to help people understand the benefit. When you only help yourself, the gift doesn't have the same life span. The map starts with the original action and then you follow the threads of the impact both personal and external.

Here are a few actions and their corresponding impacts.

: Troubleshooting devices

Person: Sylvia Johnson

External Impact:

Fix my cell phone!

Now I can use it.

I won't miss out on the kids or grandkids.

My grandkids love me.

Now I won't throw it against the wall.

So they don't feel forgotten.

I have a temper.

I’d slap Jimmy.

I try to talk to them everyday and don’t get tired of doing it.

I bug and blow up Jimmy’s phone.

I’m not sure if he feels loved or annoyed.

Feeling connected if he answers the goddamn phone.

Personal Impact:

I feel fulfilled when helping others.

A sound mind and sound body.

It creates better relationships.

I become a nicer person.

Helps me visualize my future.

Allows me to aspire.

Helps me focus on my career choices.

A better partner.

A better mother.

Takes my own worries away.

I have the tendency to be closed off, it helps me open up.

Reminds me that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

Helps me find solutions.

Being a better me.

I’m able to mentor people.

It gives me a more restful sleep.

You can't keep what you have, without giving it away.

Keeping my recovery strong.

: Mentorship

Person: Anyone

External Impact:




In my room.


Safety follows.

I'm an open book with her.

Talk about everything.

Food is good.

Joking about old stories.

Sobriety is everything.

Family is everything.

Don't have anyone to talk to.

I want to feel worthy.

Finding a road map to the self.

Prevents us from self destruction.

Healthier sleeping habits.

Self care is holding yourself upright.

Personal Impact:

Being of service feels like I’m a part of.

I share my personal experiences so people know where I’m coming from.

Being a criminal was exhausting.

Our past doesn’t define (us) me.

Stigma makes me feel ashamed. I learned how to forgive, that was hard.

How to be strong and not be a victim, if you are not a victim you are victorious.

Allow people to rebuild their house, their home, their mind.

Hope within hopelessness,

Giving to people in need, because I’m also in need.

Becoming trustworthy, because I wasn’t trusted.

We are categorized, break free from restraint.

They put us in jail, that doesn’t make us better.

Work is hard to find when you have a record, when you haven’t slept.

Renting is impossible without work.

Shame and embarrassment is a thing of the past.