PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) – We're paying it forward to a Petersburg woman friends call a warrior, a revolutionary and lifesaver. For years, Becky Wyatt was a mover and shaker in the business community, even though she was dying a slow death from a killer called crack. After she got clean, she made it her mission, to help others break free of addiction. Her recovery group, Friends Against Crack is the focus of today's Acts of Kindness.
The grey building at 4 South Market Street is nondescript except for a huge banner.
"There's a big sign in our window, the light burns 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," said Rebecca Wyatt, Addiction Recovery Specialist.
The co-founder of Friends Against Crack calls the ever present banner a beacon.
"I wanted that never again, never again should anybody needing recovery or needing help be trapped and not know where help was," she said.
Rebecca Wyatt is criminal justice professional, certified alcohol and drug counselor, motivational speaker, author and former addict.
"I used and abused cocaine for 14 years," she said.
It was during a drug induced haze she said that she got a clear call to start a recovery group.
"After I smoked about a thousand dollars worth of cocaine, I hit the ground in my living room and I cried out to god, why me," Rebecca said.
Becky got busted.
"They found an empty crack bag in my car in 1997," she said.
Through the Department of Corrections she got treatment.
"It was there I was introduced to the 12 steps of recovery," Rebecca explained.
She uses the same 12 steps with Friends Against Crack.
"She's brutally honest, she tells it like it is" Michael Nicholas said.
Michael Nicholas says he was a broken man when he stumbled into a Friends Against Crack meeting 12 years ago.
"In a nutshell she saved my life," said Michael.
"Addicts don't want cut on their cocaine, they don't want water in their alcohol, so we don't water down recovery," Rebecca said.
"I never forgot it and I want to pay homage to them" Michael added.
SABRINA: "Well Michael, here is $100, $200, $300."
MICHAEL: "God bless you. I'm happy to be a vessel."
On the walk over I learned Michael had enlisted Becky's family for an act of kindness anniversary surprise. After a phone call to see if the surprise was set up, we were ready to pay it forward.
"Look at you, you look beautiful. What is all this?" Rebecca asked.
Mike had hugs for everyone, including Becky's sister and co founder.
"I wanted her to know that she had support because that's what a lot of the addicts fail to have" said Rev. Dr. Elva Ward, V.P. Friends Against Crack.
MICHAEL: "I gladly give you a token of our appreciation for your acts of kindness; $100, $200, $300. I know resources can be limited, there all kinds of challenges, but the people out there need you."
REBECCA: "It's just awesome, I'm just so grateful."
Becky says Friends Against Crack has reached thousands over the past 14 years. Her passion for recovery is an eternal flame.
"For those family members that are out there that are saying I don't know if my child will ever get it together, we do recover," Rebecca said.