We send birthday, Mother’s Day, and Christmas cards to imprisoned people.

We at Companions believe that each person was created with talent, gifts, and dignity. The courts have judged those who are imprisoned. It is our mission to convey to them our belief that they are more than their worst actions and decisions.

We also believe that communication with their loved ones and others who can be a positive force in their lives is critical. Three of the ways, we attempt to accomplish these goals are:

Birthday Card Project

Each month our wonderful volunteer, Deborah, prepares 90 to 100 birthday cards to send to prisoners. In each she writes an uplifting message so that we can celebrate with the person their gift of life.

Christmas Card Project

Hundreds of volunteers provide us with Christmas cards – many of them signed so that we can remind our incarcerated brothers and sisters that they are remembered at this important holiday.

Last year we mailed over 4,000 cards; sent another 4,100 signed cards without postage that were passed out to juveniles and women in 16 prisons and jails; and provide at least 3,500 unsigned cards to those confined at several more penal facilities so they would have a card to send to their families.

Mother’s Day Project

Many years ago a superintendent at the Cook County Jail told us that the women confined in her division had only yellow lined paper and white envelopes to write to their mothers and children. Every year since, we have prepared 4,500 to 5,000 packets of pretty cards and stationery. These have been distributed to juveniles, women, and a few men in jails and prisons all over our state.

“I really wish to thank each of you for not only your time and energy, but for your thoughtfulness and for thinking of me, long enough, to bring a smile to my face. Most people would view your efforts as simple pastimes, but for myself, someone who has been stripped of everything he’s every know, for over a quarter century, and someone who has learned to value the tiniest of things….Your efforts were received on an very grander scale than I can find words to express. REALLY I thank you all. May God give each of you more blessings than you could ever physically count.”

“It means so much for caring people such as you all to take the time out of your busy lives to think about me during the Holiday Season.”

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Photograph of the cards image courtesy Wikipedia user Ardenn, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.