A story of hope worth sharing

I normally don’t post links to actual stories I’ve written in the Chicago Tribune, but this is an exception I think worthy to do so. This story (link below) is about a group of young guys who by many folks’ standards might be considered common delinquents, people many would write off as never going to do well or be productive members of society.

In my work I typically read and write stories about young people -even older people- who are alcoholics and drug addicts either dying from their addictions, stealing to support their addictions or killing another person in the process of their addictions.

But this story is quite the opposite of all we have come to know about young people abusing drugs and alcohol. And I am so proud and happy that I stumbeld  up on this story and was blessed with the opportunity to tell their story.

These guys also will be on Bill Moller’s WGN radio show Saturday Jan. 26 to share their story of recovery and outreach to  help others. Please click on the link below and share the story with others. And I hope you see, as I have, that even in the darkest places there is always a glimmer of hope, and people can change if they truly want to.


Until next time love each other!

5 thoughts on “A story of hope worth sharing

  1. Great story, Amanda. What a wonderful idea, and a useful blueprint for communities everywhere. I live in Auckland, New Zealand, where we have similar issues with alcohol abuse and dependency. Initiatives like this encourage a positive approach to socialising without the need for alcohol or drugs to have a good night out. I will make sure I share this too.


    • Hi! Thank you so very much for reading and commenting and of course for sharing! These are really great young guys, I am just so taken back by them and what they have chosen to do so they can stay sober and at such a young age when the partying could just continue! They are making such a conscious choice to be healthy, good people. Thanks so much for your comments!! Let me know if anyone in New Zealand does something like this! It would be fun to keep tabs on how far this trickles….Take care, Amanda


  2. Hi Amanda, thank you for the follow with LIFEiLEAD!!! I had no idea you ahd a passion for those in recovery, I am very excited to connect with you. Here’s an awesome coincidence!!!! I just emailed you yesterday, I am George Kalaras asking for a link to that piece you just wrote on January 20th, called “Just Picture it: A bar with out booze” not sure if you received it but I recognized your name given I just emailed you!! I want to connect with those folks and others in Chicago, I want to start networking with Chicagoans. How can we get my story out there? I’m from Chicago, born raised north side (27 years) yes Cubs fan and all!!! I help those with drugs and alcohol problems. I was drowning in cocaine addiction for 20 years, ages 12-31, 1981-2000 until I overdosed, got into rehab did the 6 month program stayed as staff for another 18 months (total 2 years) and then pursued college, a Masters degree in Counseling, and now at the tail end of my doctorate, starting my dissertation in May ‘13!!! Can we talk, do you have time? I plant support groups here in Philly and I am looking to meet the director of a new recovery house in Chicago to implement my curriculum so other men can “go” and plant other groups and so on and so on. There is a bigger picture also, that I would love to share with you, I am not sure where this is going just thought what a cool coincidence!!! I am a Christian as you can see on my blog but I am not ignorant, I understand that for some recovery does not equal Jesus, I am very open minded. Let’s chat some time!!



    • Hi George! I just sent you an email! I looked you up because I did receive your note, which I also showed to Charla Reed, Chris’s mom and she wrote you back too I also sent you a link to the story on The Other Side…..Let me know if have received all of that ! Thank you!!


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