Finances are always a much needed part of running any non-profit organization. The chaplain uses over a roll of stamps and 100’s of envelopes each month for the pen pal ministry alone. Each of the letters mailed out usually consist of two pages and the newsletters are normally two pages, front and back, and are in color. All of the letters have a color letterhead now, so he goes through a ream of paper each month. In addition, he uses an HP Laser Jet printer which takes four cartridges costing $785.96 for four high yield cartridges.
As you all know, fuel prices are unstable and even though the ministry car is a diesel getting 46 to 50 MPG, diesel fuel is higher than it has ever been. The chaplain was traveling an average of 6728.5 miles a year; however with the shutdown of the prisons due to COVID, we are currently not traveling until they open back up for programs and volunteers.
We do have a couple ladies presently doing the editing for the ministry, which is enough for the present time. We would love to have some Hispanic volunteers to write to the Hispanic pen pals. It would be great to have someone with time to volunteer to translate other materials into Spanish such as items on the web site. We could also use someone who has experience in fundraising, to work with businesses in our area so the ministry can grow.
The greatest need of this ministry is prayer for the work we do in and out of the prisons. We need churches and church members to show an interest in the families of the inmates that we are working with and to be willing to make an effort to help these families in many ways. Not only do these families have spiritual needs, they also have physical needs which may require church members to sacrifice some time to actually take the spouses to and from appointments or to the store. While helping is good, churches and members will need to be careful not to allow the family to become too dependent. Being there in Christian love is why we offer these outreaches to churches. We are willing to walk them through the steps of working with inmates and their families so the church is as blessed as the family.