Kristina is a stay at home mom of 4 amazing children and wife to a US Soldier, her rock, exceptional father, and a newly promoted Staff Sergeant, James.  The family is stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas.  Kristina worked as a Graphic Designer for a Sportswear company for 4 years before transitioning into freelance graphic design so she can be home to raise her children while helping her family to make ends meet. 

Kristina took a personal interest in this project and really went above and beyond in her design.  One in three people in the US are closely touched by addiction.   Kristina is no exception as she experienced addiction in her own family growing up.  Kristina’s brother struggled with addiction for years, which ultimately landed him in jail and cost him custody of his son.  “It wasn’t until he had lost everything that he decided to go into an addiction recovery center” and that was when his life finally turned around.  Today he is clean and sober, shares in raising his son, and has a great job.  Her brother has been restored to health and her family is grateful to have him back.

Designing our recovery mailer brought some old memories to the surface.  When Kristina read the words as she displayed them for our mailer, she knew that is exactly how her mother felt.  Kristina told me “It hurt me so much when I would find her crying and the only words she could say is Where did I go wrong and what could I have done to prevent this?  All I could tell her is Mom, just like everyone in the world we have choices and those choices are our own. You did the best you could to instill love and beauty into each of us but once we grow up the choices we make are solely our own. You loved us unconditionally and never gave up on us and we thank you for that!”

I cried when Kristina told me how she would comfort her Mother because my younger daughter has said similar to me and Mom’s like me simply just cannot hear that enough.  Thank you Kristina for supporting us and so beautifully transforming our vision into art.

The same week I got the call, the angel's voice saying we are admitting your daughter into our recovery, I too was saved.  On Sunday morning as we got ready for Church, my husband and I discussed our newest mailer design, the Tattoo Mailer.  We thought a tattoo mailer was a cool concept as he was doing a cover up tattoo over some ugly, no footed alien mistake.   Next thing I know, one thought after another came flooding into my head. ​​​​​​​

First thought was tattoos cover up mistakes like my husband Beau’s, then I thought about this program I just watched where a lady tattooed a lotus flower over her breast.  She had previously had a mastectomy followed by an immediate reconstruction that left her badly scarred.  The tattoo was meant to hide the scars that were a painful reminder of her suffering. 

And then I thought about my daughter and her tattooed message of hope, one of three little birds taken from the Bob Marley song, another song lyric “My burning sun will someday rise”, a Lotus flower growing from muddy water, arrows on her fingers reminding her to keep moving forward, and a few more.  And I realized this flood of thoughts was my calling to do something to help those in need. 

Our first mission in this project is to support Recovery Road Ministries, a12 step, faith based, 10 month long residential treatment facility in the works, with two proposed locations, one for men and one for women.  Both facilities will be located within our community, Aiken SC.  One of the largest churches in Aiken, Millbrook Baptist Church, has allocated a large part of one of their Pastor’s time, Gary Farina, to run this facility.  Gary has been doing outreach within the community and especially the jail system for several years.  He has seen great enthusiasm within our community and as a result he has assembled a team, the board of directors, including Rev Kerry Breen who has struggled himself, recovered, and devoted his life to his faith and to running his own recovery centers and Captain Nick Gallam, Aiken county’s Jail Administrator, who has seen the results of addiction within his own life and seeks to rehabilitate and not incarcerate.

Gary has seen addiction within his own family and personally told me, I can not help my loved ones, with the key word “help” meaning I can not force my child to stop using drugs and live a clean and sober life.  So Gary listened to his calling and decided to use his love for the Lord to try to open the hearts and minds of individuals ready to make a life change, struggling with addiction, and suffering the consequences including incarceration.

Recovery Road Ministries will admit those in need at no charge into their program.  They will require financial support and that is where us parents, you, me, Gary, and anyone who wants to help, can actually, truly help.  It may not be your own child today but one day by the grace of God, your child in their darkest moment may be turning into the loving arms of a place just like the one you supported.  Believe me, as the mother of an addict, there is no happier call you will get than the one telling you “Your child is here and we are admitting him/her into our treatment facility.”  ODAT

To support Recovery Road Ministries, please click the following link to donate:​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​

I know after trying to help my child, recovery will never come until the addict is ready to do whatever is necessary to get better, on their own. 

I know the pain as a mother to have to completely refuse my child money or a place to live because I will be dammed if I am going to make her comfortable while she throws her life away and kills herself. 

I know the anger I felt with others who enabled my child making it easier for her to continue to use.

 I know the pain of getting a call late at night from my child begging me to come get her, hundreds of miles away. 

I know the pain of having to say no because I tried for the last time to “help” get her into treatment and knew this time she had to figure it out on her own.

I know the pain a mother feels knowing her child does not have a phone, a dollar to her name, or a place to sleep.

I also know the joy of getting a call from someone in charge of treatment telling me they've taken in my child after finding her on their doorstep with nothing but the clothes on her back.

I know that despite my imperfections as a parent, I did not put the drugs in my child’s hand and I have no ability to stop her from putting them into her body. 

I know my power is over me, and through my pain I have found my strength and made it my mission to ensure that when an addict is ready to recover and has nothing left, there are places ready and able to start the process of restoring the addict, mine and your loved one, to health.​​​​​​​

I created the Tattoo Recovery Mailer to help fund the start up of two recovery centers in my community, one for men and one for women.  The proceeds equal $10.00 per case/1000 10x13 poly mailers, $8.00 per Case/500 14x17 poly mailers, and $5 per case/1000 6x9 poly mailers and go directly to Recovery Road Ministries.  More importantly, my goal is to raise awareness of how we as individuals and communities can come together to address the need for free, long term recovery.  Insurance is not the solution.  Rehab fees are insane.  Charity based long term recovery is affordable and accessible to all.  To donate, please go to or your local charity based long-term recovery

​​​​​​​Tattoos can be used to cover up mistakes, hide scars that are painful reminders of suffering, and express one’s self using a private reminder or to speak to the world.  For my daughter, and so many others like her, her tattoos became messages of hope and daily reminders that she will one day rise from the darkness that lives within her. She has tattoos containing some of these images.  They are intended to symbolize strength through recovery.

The Lotus flower symbolizes rising from a dark place into beauty and rebirth.  Lotus flowers grow directly out of muddy waters, have strong roots, and produce beautiful white and pink blossoms after rising above the water.

The Sobriety Circle & Triangle is the symbol used by Alcoholics Anonymous. The triangle represents the three-part solution, unity, recovery, and service, to a three-part disease, physical, mental, and spiritual, while the circle represents wholeness or oneness.

Wings symbolize spirituality, the possibility of soaring above, freedom, protection, and victory. 

Three little birds one of my daughter’s tattoos that for her taken from the Bob Marley song symbolize everything will be all right.

The Cross symbolizes God or One’s higher power, the core principle of AA & NA, and while it is especially symbolic within Christianity, both AA & NA open their arms to all who are in need of recovery and respect the individual beliefs of those seeking rehabilitation.​​​​​​​

The Glow represents energy, hope, goodness, & assistance—especially when it appears in the darkness, the black background.

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