Harry is a senior participating in Conversations to Remember, and is proud of it. After overcoming numerous struggles in his life, he has made it his mission to “carry a message of hope” to hospitals, prisons, recovering addicts and even the student volunteers at Conversations to Remember.
In our interview, Harry was completely open about his experiences, both growing up and in his adult life. He struggled with troublesome familial relationships, drug and alcohol addiction, low self-esteem and going to prison. Despite everything, he makes no excuses — Harry accepted all of his past actions as part of what has shaped him into the person he is today.
Harry uses all his bad experiences as motivation to encourage and support others. Now 36 years sober, he supports recovering addicts at Anonymous meetings, speaks at prisons, volunteers at hospitals and has a healthy, loving family life.
His mission extends to Conversations to Remember. Since starting his weekly calls with student volunteers, Harry has made sure to do a few things each time to make a positive impact. The conversations Harry has with the student volunteers are never dull — he encourages them to talk about themselves while getting to know him. “I love hearing their achievements,” Harry said. “I love hearing their goals.”
And while they talk about things that happen in their daily lives, Harry calls on his life experiences to extend advice and, more importantly, kindness. “I let them know how proud I am of them,” he said. “They should be proud of what they’re doing for seniors.” Harry shared that he thinks very highly of Conversations to Remember and the people who take the time to volunteer, because it positively affects seniors, especially those who experience feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Harry is also adamant about spreading love. “When we’re finished with our conversation, I always tell them ‘I love you,’” he said. This practice comes from the love and acceptance he, himself, received when he first started going to Narcotics Anonymous meetings and changed his life around.
Since then, Harry has dedicated himself to leading a positive life, being a present and caring father, and helping others. His hope is that, through sharing his story, at least one person can learn something from it and grow as a person.