Last weekend the Board of Directors of HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS held a retreat. In addition to the dramatic increase in requests for assistance, the board has many other important issues to tackle.
Our facilitator, Matthew Downey of Grand Valley State University, pointed out something very interesting when discussing non-profit organizations like ours. The bulk of the support for these agencies does not come from large companies, millionaire donors, or giant foundations. The support comes from individuals, and the majority of those individuals are in low and middle income categories. They do it because they happen to believe in that cause.
That was no surprise to me, because that's exactly the way it is for HFP.
Here at HFP, it is virtually impossible to attract the attention of large foundations. Most don't want to do much for prisoners. And if they do, they'll consider a grant if we want to take on a new program, especially involving re-entry. Well, we don't want to do that. We need money just to try to keep doing what we do best. As far as we know, we're the only agency that focuses specifically on helping one prisoner at a time with all of these humanitarian issues.
And that's why your monthly support is so important. We have many members of the 100 Club now, and they're not all giving $100 a month. Many wanted to join but couldn't afford that much. So we opened it up to all who would agree to a regular monthly sum. Some participants are giving $25 a month. Some are helping to make up for that by giving $200 a month.
The neat thing is that a lot of people care, and a lot of people want to honor the biblical admonition to show compassion to prisoners. And the $5 dollar gift is just as important as the $10,000 gift!
You care. So do we.