In Your Community

ABC7 Pay It Forward: Recovering addict gives $500 to his mentor

Friday, June 14, 2013

When offered the chance to give anyone $500, Maurice Horton of East Los Angeles instantly thought of Robert Anderson as the man he wanted to pay it forward to.

Anderson has been sober for 11 years after four stints in prison for various drug-related crimes. He now runs several sober living facilities around Southern California, giving a place for recovering addicts, like Horton, to call home.

"He takes care of everyone. He likes to make sure that other people are helped," said Horton.

Drugs once also sent Horton to prison. But thanks to Anderson, he says he's sober, going back to college, and now mentoring other addicts. Horton said it would mean a lot for him to give the money to Anderson.

"It would mean a great deal," he said. "It would mean that some of the lessons that he taught me, I learned."

For example, Horton said he learned to give to others. At first, Anderson seemed startled when we surprised him at the center.

"I ran into these guys earlier today and they asked me do I know a person that I think is worthy of paying it forward, and they gave me $500 to give to you to pay it forward," Horton explained to Anderson.

"I don't need it, I'd rather, I can just donate it to charity or something," Anderson said immediately.

Horton explained why he thought of Anderson.

"The way you look out for other people, that made me think of you. So when I had the opportunity, you came to mind," Horton said.

Anderson says we all can learn from the center's success.

"We treat everybody equal. It doesn't matter what the person looks like," said Anderson.

Horton said Anderson saved his life.

"You model yourself after somebody who you admire. So when you admire somebody, you see them doing the right things and doing them in the right way, then you add a little bit of them to you. And that's what it is that I've done," said Horton.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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