Friday, December 30, 2016

Will you join us for the ride?

My Bible reading took on an interesting assignment at year’s end.  In the final days of 2016, I was assigned to read from Proverbs 13, where I was advised to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.  That very admonition is framed and on the wall in our office.

As I reflected on the year 2016, I couldn’t help but take pride in the growth of HFP, the increased number of prisoners we served, our improved financial position, and all of the internal progress we made, the exciting success stories, and our enhanced reputation in advocacy circles.  But the thing that makes us so humbly proud is that we touched lives!

When Maurice Carter and I put together this little outfit in 2001, we envisioned helping a few prisoners with pressing problems.  By the end of 2016, it was no longer a little outfit.  We had responded to a record number of more than 2,700 contacts by prisoners, their families or their friends!  We continued to add one new prisoner a day to the list of people we serve, 7 days a week!  For the first time in history, our case file---names of actual prisoners in our email JPay account---totaled more than 1,000!  Here’s what we treasure:  Not a day goes by that we don’t receive personal thanks from someone we have helped.

We started out with a budget only covering immediate costs for things like postage and office supplies.  Our Board of Directors has just adopted a budget for the new year topping $200,000.00!

As I sat thinking about the New Year, it was apparent to me that, in order to do what we must do in Michigan, we’ve got to think bigger:  more volunteers, bigger and better methods of communication, more and better literature to explain our work, a longer list of volunteers, expanded facilities, larger staff, more speaking engagements, more church support…the list goes on and on.  Too many needs.  Too many problems. Not enough resources.

No question about it, our Board of Directors and our staff must keep these goals in mind in 2017. 

But first and foremost, we must do nothing at the expense of our vision statement, and the book of Proverbs. To think big, we must think small.

HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS seeks to provide personalized, problem-solving services for inmates who don’t know where to turn.

We will only be successful if we continue to respond as the writer of Proverbs advises:

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
    ensure justice for those being crushed.
   Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
    and see that they get justice.

Will you join us?  We can’t do it alone.

1 comment:

Tasheenia Lewis said...

So, I don't have a lot of money, in fact I am horribly poor and if I was financially wealthy then I would be spending it on resources towards my Grandfather's freedom. However, I am a stay at home Mom with a lap top and am willing to help a cause like this one so near and dear to my heart. What can I do to help?