In this amazing tale of the power of social media, Mark Cropp, a young man New Zealand, found himself at a crossroads after serving a two-year, three-month sentence for a botched drug deal.
During his time behind bars, Mark, desperate for a fresh start upon release, made a decision that would profoundly impact his life.
One night in his jail cell, heavily intoxicated on homemade alcohol made from fermented apples, bread, and sugar, Mark and his brother made a pretty life-altering decision…
The face tattoo
In a haze, they decided to tattoo Mark’s face with his nickname using a makeshift ink that was made from toothpaste and melted plastic knives and forks. The resulting giant black tattoo, boldly spelling “Devast8” across his jaw and lower face, would eventually become a symbol of regret.
Upon his release from prison, Mark faced the harsh reality of unemployment. Although he was eager to reintegrate into society and provide for his partner and young daughter, he soon discovered that his large face tattoo was making this virtually impossible. Despite his prior work experience, potential employers were instantly put off by the visible ink, meaning Mark was unable to secure a job.
Mark told the Daily Mail Australia the meaning behind the tattoo saying: “You know there was a long time there where I would devastate everything I touched. I would end up devastating everyone I met or got close to.”
He continued: “They would be disappointed with something I had done or said – I was always hearing ‘that’s devastating.’ Once it was started, I thought, I can’t go back on it now. I wish I had stopped while the outline was there to be quite honest,’ he said.
“Before I knew it I had this on my face… It was swollen like a bloody pumpkin,” he said.
Desperate for a solution, Mark sought ways to remove the tattoo but was met with financial constraints and a lack of willing professionals. Laser removal, the most viable option, required numerous sessions and came at a significant cost. So, Mark turned to social media for help.
Taking to Facebook, Mark shared a selfie showing off his distinctive tattoo, appealing for a job and a chance at a new beginning. His heartfelt plea quickly gained traction on the platform, capturing the attention of the staff at Sacred Tattoo, an Auckland-based tattoo parlor.
Touched by Mark’s story and recognizing an opportunity to make a positive impact, Sacred Tattoo decided to extend an extraordinary act of kindness. The tattoo parlor, known for its commitment to the community, offered to help Mark by providing free laser removal sessions to erase the “Devast8” tattoo from his face.
This generous gesture from Sacred Tattoo not only showcased the transformative power of social media but also demonstrated the impact of compassion.
Mark also managed to land a position at scaffolding company PR Contracting, earning $22 an hour.
What do you think of this story? Do you think everyone deserves a second shot at life? Let us know in the comments!
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