Stories of Transformation: Benny

“I’m living proof that it’s never too late to embrace real change. Your compassion and God’s grace guided the way.”

I didn’t always believe in miracles. In fact, growing up, my house felt like the furthest thing from a fairy tale. My dad was an alcoholic. He suffered a stroke that paralyzed him. The next year, I lost my mom to breast cancer.

That left me to assume responsibility for my dad and my little brother. I was 14 years old.

I remember feeling a lot of anger, bitterness and resentment for the childhood I’d lost. Most of all I felt abandoned by my dad. He kept drinking. Before long, he passed away. Even into adulthood, through all my own relationships, the happy moments and the sad, I felt my dad’s absence.

For a long time it seemed like alcohol would be my downfall, too. It cost me almost everything — career opportunities, a roof over my head, even the trust of my own children. I’d been living in Florida. I was lost in addiction and running low on hope. One evening I sat down in a public park. And because I didn’t know what else to do, I started to sing.

A woman nearby heard my voice ringing out. I’m guessing she could hear the pain and exhaustion behind it too. She walked up and tapped me on the shoulder. Then she said, “If you let me help you, you’ll never have to spend another night on the streets.”

PRM Benny playing the piano
Today, Benny is a new man, and deeply grateful for the help he’s received. Thank you for transforming his life!

Of course, I knew enough to be skeptical of strangers and their promises. This felt different. Something tugged at my heart. And today, I’m firmly convinced that woman was my guardian angel.

She paid my way across country to Phoenix Rescue Mission, a place I’d never heard of before. Little did I know, compassionate folks like you were waiting there to welcome me with open arms.

Since joining the program, my counselors have helped me to heal the wounds from my past. I’ve forgiven my father, just as I’m now seeking forgiveness from my kids. I’ve grown in faith. And these days I’m singing songs of thanks and praise.

“I’m grateful to you donors, just like I’m grateful to my guardian angel. You are the tools God uses to change a life.”


This is just one of many stories that testify to the life-changing power of your generosity! Thank you for making sure neighbors like Benny have Hope for the Holidays.