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All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Monday, March 9, 2020

Local prisoner advocates win awards!


I have never cared very much for personal prizes. A person does not become a freedom fighter in the hope of winning awards. Nelson Mandela

When I was a young radio newsman, running a low-budget news operation in a small-market station, I had little use for those radio and TV stations touting “Award-winning News Department!”

If ever there was an award-winning newsroom, it was ours. Our little team worked around the clock, 7 days a week, to keep our community informed. We didn’t have the time and energy to fill out applications for winning awards. We actually editorialized on local issues. Listener response and appreciation was our reward.

I still feel that way. All kinds of people deserve awards today, who receive little or no recognition: hospice nurses, nursing home attendants, hospital orderlies, beat cops, volunteer firemen. Each one of us can name heroes who get paid very little, and receive even less recognition.

Now in this field of prisoner advocacy, if I could arrange an awards ceremony and if I could spotlight winners, the gang at HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS would be at the top of the list. Bragging was a deadly sin, according to my father, so I tread lightly on this topic. He insisted that others should do the praising.

OK, Pa, that’s exactly what I’m going to do right now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the envelopes please---

Award #1, to Doug:

This morning a former prisoner called me. Years ago, when he received a parole thanks to our help, I held the prison door open for him as he stepped into freedom after 38 years behind bars. “You gave me a new life.”

Award #2, to Matt:

Today Matt opened a letter from a prisoner with health problems whom we have been helping. “Thank you for making me feel I am not alone…I thought about my son, and wished he be like you!”

Award #3, to Holly:

As we seek a compassionate release for a terminally ill prisoner, his mother today had high praise for our Vice President: “She’s awesome!”

Awards #4 and #5, to Susie and Melissa:

Just today I sent a thank you note to a prisoner who made a $15 donation to HFP…the 10th Michigan inmate already this year to send us a financial contribution! I told our team today that these gifts are a huge “thank you” for their compassion and hard work.

There’ll be no mention of these awards in the media. We won’t be getting dollars or trophies.

But as Mark Twain says: “Great things can happen when you don't care who gets the credit.”

God will repay each person according to what they have done
Romans 2:6


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