Maurice Carter once joked with me about Thanksgiving behind bars. “Take a look at our Thanksgiving Day menu,” he said. The public saw a prison menu boasting a turkey dinner for inmates. In actuality, the main meat of the day turned out to be turkey bologna!
Prisoners have a difficult time on holidays such as this. What’s to be thankful for?
I can tell you this: In 2019, many prisoners---hundreds, perhaps thousands---are thankful for HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS. I make this claim, not in a boasting manner at all, but in deep humility, because I’m thankful that we can be there for them!
They’re thankful that, even though we may not have had complete success, someone was there to try to help them get appropriate health care. You and I can “doctor shop,” or even run to a med center if necessary. The options behind bars are very limited. They’re thankful that we could help them track down a missing family member. They’re thankful that someone will assist them in seeking important legal documents, because the state refuses to allow them to file requests under the Freedom of Information Act. They’re thankful for the assistance we have provided, and will continue to provide, for all who wish to apply for a commutation of their sentence. They’re thankful for our Parole Board preparation packet, thus helping them get ready for an upcoming session with the Michigan Parole Board.
At Thanksgiving time, 2019, I’m not thankful for prisoners, but I am thankful for their friendship.
I’m thankful that this organization that I founded 18 years ago is now touching the lives of thousands of Michigan prisoners with loving assistance.
I’m thankful for a wonderful team of staff members and volunteers who compassionately make all of this happen, on a daily basis.
I’m thankful for the time and dedication of every member of our Board of Directors…for their commitment to our goals, vision and mission.
I’m thankful that we have a delightful, spacious environment in which to work.
And, I’m thankful to the many individuals, groups, families and foundations who make all of this work possible.
"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." -Albert Schweitzer