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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Four Corners and a Square Peg

About 18 years ago my father lost his home in Danville.  He lost it due to incredibly bad financial decisions he made as well as a sharp downturn in both the economy and his overall health, neither of which were his fault.  For six weeks prior to when he needed to be out of his home and into the new rental I would ask him, "Do you need help moving?" and every day he would say, "No, I got it covered".

Then, one Wednesday at around 5:00pm, I received an hysterical phone call from my father.  "I have to be out by midnight tonight or I will lose everything!".  Being my father's daughter (and barely 2 years sober), I hung up the phone and threw a tantrum of my own for about ten minutes.  Then, I called Quiet Marc.

Quiet Marc is one of those incredibly annoying, lovable, smug and generous people one meets in sobriety - kind of like all of us who are struggling one day at a time to live this life and to be a giver rather than a taker.  Sometimes we do the deal, other times we cannot distinguish our elbow from another part of our anatomy but no matter what we keep on trying, 24 hours at a time, to make a difference in the world and to do so sober.

Since 1992 Marc has run the Four Corners Project.  It is a non-profit group that allows for men to work for their lives and sobriety.  It takes no government money.  The men do all kinds of stuff - from cleaning abandoned property to ready it for sale to moving furniture to household repairs.  The money they earn keeps food on the table, a roof over their heads and replenishes the self esteem that led them to believe the only life they were worth involved the bottle, the pipe and the needle.

I called Marc and told him that my (idiot) father needed help; thus, I needed help.  He told me to go to my home group and he would send someone out.  He told me not to worry.

I went to my homegroup and fifteen minutes after it started a very large, overly muscled and tattooed individual came into the room.  He was dressed in jeans and a white tank top and wore mirrored sunglasses.  He barked out, "We're looking for LESLIE" and my loving band of homegroup brothers and sisters gave me up like a bad habit.

In no time I was leading a caravan of trucks to Danville.  The men attacked the job and my father, stepmother and her elderly mother were moved into their new home within four hours.

My father asked me, "Who are these guys?" and I told him they were friends of mine from my 12 step program.  He asked, "How much am I going to have to pay them?" and when I told him nothing, he was flabbergasted.

"Shoot, maybe I ought to join that deal".

Today Marc's Four Corner Project is the one in trouble.  The downturn in the economy has affected every level of our society but I know that generosity is the cornerstone of American Values.  In order for these guys to keep doing what they are doing, they need to repair their truck or purchase a new one.  They need jobs - big and little - that will allow them to reclaim their personal dignity.  Most of all, they need a safe place to live and the Four Corner's Project provides just that for men who are not used to living in a safe place.

I am asking everyone who can to throw some bucks their way.  Any amount will help.  If you believe that people who are dedicated to helping themselves as best they can without asking the government for help are truly living American Values, then maybe an extra ten or 20 bucks could find its way from your pocket to their treasury.

Please make checks out to:

Four Corners Project

and send to: 4071 San Pablo Dam Rd. #426 El Sobrante,CA 94803

Thank you.

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