Our graduates Frank, Philip, and Leonard returned as apprentices this year and will be spending the holidays back at home with their friends, families, and the Touch A Heart community.
We're overjoyed to share that our graduate Philip returned last week and is back at work as an apprentice for Touch A Heart. His return is made more special because he made it home in time for the holidays.
"It feels great. I'm so happy right now. I feel so good being back here," Philip said. "I'm looking forward to seeing my family, my baby daughter, and my girlfriend."
While away, Philip received your prayers, gifts, and letters. "They made my time good," he shared. "Being in [prison] is really sad. You're away from everyone, and it was my first time, so you feel really lonely in there. I'm glad I had support from you. It played a big part in me wanting to come back, do good, go back home to my family, and have a job. It really made it easier."
When asked about his Christmas wish, Philip replied: "I'm hoping and praying that God gives me the strength to continue on this path that I'm on—my life of sobriety. Being clean and sober, I can think clearly and have better communication. I can look at the little things and be grateful for everything—walking and breathing in fresh air, taking it all in, and being mindful. I look at life differently today. Just waking up in the morning is a blessing. I pray to God, 'Thank you for this breath of life. Minister and guide me through my day.' I can help other people also. I like what I'm doing at Touch A Heart."
Philip also reflected on how he reunited us with Leonard: "I truly believe that God puts us in places for a reason. Out of everybody at that camp, I ended up being Lenny's bunkie. We ended up talking and found we had similar stories of going to Sand Island Treatment Center and Touch A Heart, and we connected immediately. After we went to prison, we're here and we're together. That's how God works. If I hadn’t met him and talked to him, I wouldn't have known. You guys connected and look, he's here, he's happy, he's back home. If you do the right thing, you get the right results. Just keep pushing forward."
From our hearts to yours, thank you for making this a joyful holiday season for Philip, Leonard, and so many others.