All writing is a form of prayer - John Keats

Friday, July 15, 2022

What do you do? Not always a simple answer.

So, what do you guys do at HFP? 

A short answer is elusive, even for our workers and board members. 

We generally respond by saying we help residents of our state prisons with non-legal problems and issues when they don’t know where to turn. 

It’s so easy for you and me to solve a problem. We have Wikipedia, we have Google, we have cell phones, Siri and Alexa. Our incarcerated friends have none of these resources. 

HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS receives about a hundred requests for assistance a day, via telephone, email and snail mail. Just for the heck of it, I grabbed ten of those today. 

Client #1 requested assistance in filing an application for commutation of his sentence.

Client #2 needed assistance in filing a Freedom of Information Act request.

Client #3 asked for some specific information from Wikipedia.

Client #4 claims actual innocence, and needed some legal suggestions and ideas.

Client #5 is having a terrible problem with staff.

Client #6 has an important question about his Social Security.

Client #7 needed help in obtaining some MDOC forms.

Client #8 has serious medical problems, issues and questions.

Client #9 is an artist, and requested a photograph.

Client #10 had no immediate problem, but asked us to assist a friend behind bars. 

There you have it. That 10% birds-eye view is typical of the pleas our staff members and volunteers receive every day. 

It may not be easy to explain exactly what we do, but it’s very easy to explain our popularity. Prisoners who contact HFP get immediate response. No long periods of silence. No run-arounds. No delays, snide comments or refusals. And all messages between HFP and residents of our state prisons end with the words, you matter! 

No wonder we’re receiving over 2,000 calls a month! 

No wonder prisoner contributions are at an all-time high! 

No wonder we swell with pride when we state that we’re a member of the HFP team! 

There’s a church a few miles north of here that won’t support HFP because we don’t tell stories about Jesus to prisoners. There are wonderful ministries already doing that. I think THIS is what Jesus meant when he said, “I was in prison and you visited me.”

No comments: