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Saturday, July 2, 2011

BRINGING CHRISTMAS TO WOMEN IN PRISON!

My friends who know me personally, know that I am PASSIONATE about PRISON MINISTRY!!! I have volunteered for 12 years so far, serving women in prison. What a special blessing to be allowed by Christ to be involved in RELATIONSHIP with these women. As with all prisons, many get released, transferred & move around. As well as many new arrivals come in, so on average there is always about 1200 women serving time that I have the priviledge to reach out to. One of the special events that I am involved with is the Annual CHRISTMAS Hygiene Sack Project. This year is the 11th year for this project. What a HUGE event this is, it takes alot of volunteers & alot of donation of funds in order to make this event a success. Each of the 1200 women personally receive a gift sack for Christmas that has one each of these items: shampoo;conditioner;bodywash;lotion;kleenix;toothpaste;toothbrush, along with a calendar & some greeting cards to send to their families. In order to provide a gift sack to each of these 1200 women, we must depend on the donations of caring individuals in the community who has a heart to help us. Each sack costs $12.00 to prepare, multiply that cost by 1200 women & you can see that this is a HUGE project! All the volunteers who come together to prepare this event for the women, know that FAILURE IN NOT AN OPTION! But we can not reach our goal unless many caring people desire to help us by donating funds toward this project. It takes many months to gather enough funds to be able to purchase in bulk all the products needed. Then there are many hours of inventory; sorting; carefully packing each gift bag making sure its properly put together & when all 1200 sacks are filled & prepared they are delivered to the prison for careful inspection by security staff. Once they have ok'd everything, then we spend a day at the prison,personally hand delivering each gift sack to each of the women. The volunteers LOVE this as due the women in the prison! It is a day full of JOY,tears of gratitude; lots of HUGS; it is a day full of the TANGIBLE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST given to these women. Many of these women have NEVER received a Christmas gift ever! Most of them have served many years in prison & have forgotten what it is like to enjoy some fragrant lotion on their skin. They have missed the fragrant perfume scents of good shampoo & conditioner to make their hair smell fresh & soft. They have forgotten what it is like just to feel PRETTY at all. This simple Christmas project, brings the tangible love of JESUS CHRIST to each of these women. Along with meeting a real need for them to have quality hygiene items to refresh themselves with, the LOVE handed out to them is PRICELESS! The women look forward to receiving this gift as much as the volunteers enjoy bringing it to them. Many of the women have their hearts changed just by receiving this gift from us. Many have testified over the years that it melted their hearts toward Christ, just because we volunteers love them enough to provide for them. It is something that many of the women never received from their own family. So as you pray for the prison ministry,consider making a donation to help us make the 2011 Christmas Prison Project a success. You will become part of the miracle of a changed life just by helping us hand out a gift of refreshment to these women. As they refresh their bodies with the fragrant products; they are also refreshed emotionally, even spiritually, because this gift opens the door for Christ to walk in as they are drawn to Him because they experience His unconditional love through the hands of volunteers who love them in Christ's Name.

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