Up to this point in my life, I have met a lot of different people. Some of them were good people, some not so good. Some I have never seen again.

Have you ever met a person that actually gave up their entire life savings and their retirement, not for their own self-gain, but to provide their community with something that has been needed for a long time?

Well, for the first time in my life, I have actually gotten to meet and know a person just like thatsomeone who is truly a great human being.

I would like to give my praise to a wonderful lady by the name of Sandra Morrison. She has started and operates one women's and two men's recovery centers, along with a number of safe and sober houses.

Ms. Morrison cares about her clients so much that they get the best of everythingcounselors, staff, housing, food and the best of her own time. She also makes sure that her clients feel loved. The right kind of love. The kind of love that promotes healing and a want to change for the better. She says, andquot;This is the beginning to their better life, because they are good people.andquot;

Ms. Morrison is so devoted to helping them succeed. Even though she is very strict, she gives them more chances than anyone I know would. She says, andquot;They have to re-learn things.andquot; She will do whatever it takes to see to it that the clients are allowed to stay longer if it means they will succeed. Sometimes she doesn't receive payment for that. She will even seek outside help for the clients, such as social services and doctors. She makes sure that their health is cared for too. I have even seen her cry over a client's pain and suffering.

Her compassion is at the top of the scales. She makes sure that they have somewhere to go after completing their program. That is where the safe and sober houses come into place. When the rest of us have gone home, she will be at the recovery homes checking on the clients. At Christmas time, here comes Santa. Thanksgiving is a andquot;thank you for giving.andquot; I have seen her help them get enrolled into school (some continue to college) and help them with jobs and court issues. She believes that children should not be separated from their mothers, either, even while the mother is in treatment. I have seen her buy baby diapers, food, clothing, cribs and beds when the mothers could not do it themselves.

So, try to be a more caring, devoted and compassionate person and you, too, could certainly change some bad to good.

Mary Jo McNamara

Crescent City