"We were going to reach out to people that we don't know yet who are still struggling with addiction. But, let alone, we had a couple people right here in the program," said the Abilene Dream Center director Rey Sandoval.
Michael Peters was one of the two at the Dream Center who received the center's first "Life Start Up Kits." One thousand dollars was donated for each of them to pay for treatment they wanted, but couldn't afford.
"I'm excited. I think it's great," said Michael. "And it's just another stepping stone to show me that this is where God wants me to be."
After battling alcoholism for 12 years, Michael's family intervened and demanded he get help. When he got to the Dream Center, he worked out a plan to pay them back. And now, he doesn't have to.
"Relaxing, uplifting, it feels wonderful to know that that's one less thing I have to worry about," he said.
With a goal to start bringing in more people to the center with these start up kits, Rey realized that helping those already there would make the Dream Center stronger in the long run.
"These are our very own people, and we consider them family," Rey explained. "And so, I believe if we start with them, and building them so when the others come in, they'll be that much more strong to help the new brothers and sisters."
But for Michael, it was knowing that he has even more support at the dream center that was the best Christmas present of all.
"It's humbling, in one respect, but it puts you at ease," he said. "Because it helps you say, 'I'm not in this alone.'"
The Abilene Dream Center does have one more start up kit to give away, and they say they will give it to the next person who calls and asks about it.