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How One Act, One Community, One The Theory of 5 Life Can Change Lives

To some, The Theory of 5 offers a chance for perspective and self-improvement, and to others it offers hope and a method of change. Frank Marr, founder of Jake’s Reach, has experienced hardships in his life that make him appreciative for what he has; and he aims to share this type of support with others.

After Frank’s grandson, Jacob Marr, was lost to addiction in 2017, Frank established the nonprofit Jake’s Reach to bring hope to those struggling with addiction and their families. Based upon the premise of the Serenity Prayer – God grant me the courage to change the things I can. . . –Jake’s Reach promises to bring courage and kindness to the education and prevention it provides.

“Our goal is one day at a time, one person at a time, and one act of kindness at a time. That is Jake’s Reach,” writes Frank on the nonprofit’s website.

This sense of compassion and community stems from Frank’s own relationship with Jake throughout his fight against addiction’s deadly seize.

In support of his grandson, Frank entered these spaces with the intent of learning how he could help Jake. It is because of this open mind and open heart that he extends the same helping hands to all addiction warriors he crosses paths with.

“My name’s Frank, and I am a world class enabler.” These are words that were repeated the first time Frank attended an Addicts Anonymous [AA] meeting with his grandson. In this space, he learnt the difference between helping someone to do better, and actively enabling them to better themselves. How does one actively enable? By doing “the next right thing,” which is a phrase Frank heard time and time again until one day he asked what exactly that meant. The answer he was met with was simple: do what is right in front of you, and what is obvious, yet undervalued by some. This could be as simple and wholesome as saying hello to someone on the street, or as painful as apologizing even when you are not ready to do so.

“When the fear of pain becomes greater than the fear of change,” said Frank, “good things will happen.”

Not too long after his first, these meetings continuously provided him depth and insight into just how infectious addiction can be to a person.

“I am sorry what it took–what it took in our family to know it was going on,” he said.

Eight years later, he has been going ever since.

And not just attending, but contributing to and continuing the conversations of awareness outside the walls of the AA meetings–all while maintaining considerate confidentiality.

“The understanding that I never had before going through this with Jake,” said Frank, “the small understanding I got while he was enveloped in this became enhanced after he passed.”

For Frank, one of the most memorable teachings of AA and Heroin’s Anonymous was that you need to get out of yourself, and the best way to do that is to help others. And that is just what he did with Jake’s Reach.

Attending meetings, hosting Jake’s Reach discussions, feeding the homeless on the last Saturday of every month, establishing a golf outing to collect donations to fund the first month’s rent for recovering addicts, or paying utility bills of supporting families–all of these stem from the fundamental teachings Jake learned from AA.

“We have helped some very deserving folks become aware that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a locomotive about to run them down,” Frank wrote for the 5th Annual Golf Outing update in July, “Hope is a powerful ally in the fight against this Epidemic.”

Other financial assistance Jake’s Reach has provided includes securing cars for those without transportation, paying the $450 fee to acquire a license, providing pro bono attorney connections, and offering jobs.

One of the most humbling stories Frank shared was of a young man, unnamed for privacy, who was the service director of a luxury car dealership near Akron; however, the man had fallen so hard that he himself was living out of his car. Frank assisted by fixing the car and helping get his license back–as many addicts lose their licenses–and getting all other ducks in a row. Eventually the young man was unable to go back to the automotive industry, but he moved onto answering phones. One of his customers was so impressed by his personality that they offered him a job. After all these trials and tribulations, the man approached Frank and asked if it was alright to give his car–that was once his home–to a single mother, for he no longer was in dire need.

Stories like these multiplied after Frank interacted with the community and did the next right thing.

Where does The Theory of 5 come into all of this? Aside from Frank pulling inspiration from author Chris Saraceno, he began bringing the book to meetings, and it was something that resonated with everyone in unique, personal ways.

Now, Jake’s Reach has passed out hundreds of books and started so many more discussions.

“The conversations with this book and with these kids are way above adulthood, because [Chris Saraceno] was so honest about his own parents in this book; they find it very refreshing that it is not just another ‘gloss over everything’ . . . they open up each chapter and it has something else they can open up about–spirituality, parenting, being a good partner,” said Marr.

Frank first met Chris in 1995 or 1996 in the Lehigh Valley Auto Group, where Frank was doing some consulting work for Half-A-Car. He was with the Group for two years by the time Chris was added to the board of directors. Frank admired Chris’s honesty and how he conducted business ethically. In fact, this honesty is one of the principles that inspired Frank to introduce Chris and The Theory of 5 to the Jake’s Reach community.

“Chris’s honesty is exactly what they need,” he said. “They need to hear what they need to hear, and he has a way of doing that without being cruel.”

The two men also share similar values with spirituality, morality, and relationships, as well as experiences with family addiction loss.

Frank’s sense of spirituality growing up was small in comparison to the large role it plays in his life now. Even being raised Catholic, nothing connected to him in the way that the education and story-telling of the AA meetings did.

A particularly mind-blowing experience for him was hearing a 20-year-old offer profoundness that he had never thought in his own, seasoned life; his sponsor had taught him how to pray with the simple methodology of an easy please and thank you, with a please statement in the morning and a thank you in the evening.

All in all, Frank has been enlightened by the optimism and positive energy exuded from the recovery community. While his friends and family still ask to this day how he attends so many meetings without leaving depressed or discouraged, Frank will come home feeling giddy, elated and uplifted, talking the ears off of those around him about the new stories and experiences he had just as a child would on their first day back from school.

“These people are the happiest people around,” he said.

And so, what are the secrets to the world’s happiest, most prosperous people?

The theories and values within The Theory of 5 (spirituality, marriage and relationships, parenting, business and finance, health and fitness) are all embodied within the lives around us, those struggling or those not.

All it takes is, in Frank’s words, to “change your playmates, your playthings, and your playground.”

The Theory of 5 encourages all of those who are seeking happiness and prosperity–no matter their walk of life–to find their mentors, coaches, and enablers of their own journey. Looking for a sense of education and community? Be sure to stay up-to-date on The Theory of 5 Masterclass and future 2024 Summit.


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