Class of 2015 — Mic the Boxer!

Last Sunday, with 1,500 people, we celebrated Helping Up Mission’s 130th Anniversary at Martin’s West in Baltimore. Fittingly, we also celebrated 130 graduates — our largest ever — in the class of 2015.

Mickey was one of the guys who shared his story that day. He had been a boxer in his younger years, but by the time he arrived here, he was a shadow of his former self.

Drugs and alcohol really took their toll on his body and life. But the guy on the stage this day was healthy and strong again.

As a boxer, he’d lost a few teeth. He lost even more in his addiction! But during the past year — thanks to the HUM dental partnership with the University of Maryland School of Dentistry — he was standing there on stage with a mouth-full of teeth and a big bright smile.

But. there was another thing that changed about Mickey. It was a conscious choice that was painful and took some time.

Mickey had two teardrop tattoos on his face. In his recovery, he knew they no longer represented the man he is today.

The new Mic didn’t want to look in the mirror and see “that guy” anymore — because that guy wasn’t around anymore. He also didn’t want others to look at him and assume he was that other guy, either!

So, while here this past 14 months Mickey had the tats removed from his face.

He really does look like a new man! But that’s just an outward manifestation of the transformation that has taken place on the inside. And that’s what we’re really celebrating!

One Day at a Time,
Pastor Gary Byers
Deputy Director