From Cocaine to Coke Cans to College

coke-cans

Remember Ryan? We wrote about him in our newsletter last month. Following an abusive and painful childhood, he was introduced to prostitution when he was a teenager in juvenile detention. He hustled and used drugs on and off for over two decades, and it was only when his daughter Teresa was born in 2009 that he fully committed to sobriety.

Five years later, Ryan is still clean and sober. He has grown into an amazing father to this little girl, and is determined that his daughter will succeed in spite of his struggles. Before she was even born, Ryan—of his own initiative, and admittedly to the surprise of everyone who’s known him over the years—enrolled in a program to save money for Teresa’s college education. He continues to put away every penny he can.

A couple of months ago Ryan offhandedly mentioned to me that he had been collecting aluminum cans to sell for extra cash for Teresa’s college fund. Immediately I found an old trash can in our office and made a special recycling container just for Ryan’s cans. Now every few weeks Ryan joyfully hauls away a trash bag full, and our “Coke habit” helps fund his daughter’s future college education!

Saving aluminum cans feels like literally the least we can do for one of the men here. But seeing that recycling container get full really is a joyous thing, because it represents a great deal of hope that we all share: hope for Ryan’s continued health and sobriety; hope for breaking generational cycles of addiction and abuse; hope that a kindergartener—whose father got his GED in “juvi jail”—will one day get a college education; and ultimately hope that Ryan’s love for his daughter will continue to transform both of their lives.

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Our Mission

To provide Christ-centered support to men seeking to escape survival prostitution and embrace a life of health and wholeness.

 

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Emmaus Ministries
4201 N Troy St
Chicago IL 60618

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Emmaus Ministries
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Wheaton IL 60187-0431

773-334-6063
emmaus@streets.org

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