Volunteer Appreciation

In the summer of 2012 I was at my desk at home and minding my own business when Silas called me. Near the end of the call he suggested that I attended the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Convocation.  This was the real beginning of my prison ministry.

The main difference between the people behind bars and the rest of us is that they got caught and convicted.  In some cases we quit before we got caught.

Many of those behind bars realized that they made a mistake and want and deserve a second chance.  Some are career criminals.  But we as Christians must forgive them.  This does not mean that we have to forget.  But if an individual wants our help, we must give it to him.

As a volunteer, I have been blessed to help with the Wellness Fairs over the years, job fair, education, and collections. 

My first major project was in 2012 when I received a request for toys for a Christmas party for inmates and their children.  It was almost a last minute request.  On the day before delivery, I was hoping to have enough toys.  On the day itself, we had four cars full of toys.  Gwendolyn Oliver, assistant warden, came off vacation to receive us at the prison. She told us about a need for warm coats for the winter.

The next day two more cars from St. Andrew Orthodox Church arrived there.  None of us knew about their donation until they delivered. 

After hearing Ms. Oliver's concern about coats, we went into action and until they changed the system, we were meeting the demands for the most part.  One day as I went to the J.I. Building, I heard an officer telling another one, "We are out of coats,: and I immediately said, "I have eight boxes in the cars."

I hope to continue my prison ministry, partly through the Baltimore Police Department, and partly through the Church.
 

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