We are very excited about bringing our Aunt Mary’s Storybook project to new places and helping more children of incarcerated parents maintain their connection to their parents!
The biggest news in terms of our expansion is our return to the Cook County Jail. As you may know, we started the Aunt Mary’s Storybook project at the Cook County Jail in 1993 as a Christmas project for the children of women incarcerated at Cook County Jail in Chicago. The last time we served the Cook County Jail was in July 2004, so our return in February 2015 was very special for us. In the few short months that we have been at Cook County, we were able to send books and recordings to 62 children!
In addition to our expansion to the Cook County Jail, we will also be serving the men at the DuPage County Jail. A group of volunteers have been going each month to DuPage to serve the women, but we thought serving the fathers is just as important. We hope to begin serving the men in the next several weeks after our new volunteers have been cleared by the jail.
We are also pleased to announce that we will also be working with the women at the Kendall County Jail. Up until this year, we only had the opportunity to serve the men.
Finally, we have been in an ongoing discussion with two other facilities in Northern Illinois area to bring Aunt Mary’s Storybook to their imprisoned parents. Things are looking good, and we hope to be in those facilities within the next few months!
Thank you to all who have been supportive of our efforts with Aunt Mary’s Storybook — the books, CDs, envelopes, and postage funds you have been donating really makes an impact on these parents. We have learned over the years that in addition to bringing our books and recorders, we need to bring a box of tissues because of how emotional both the mothers and fathers get. The opportunity to remain connected with your family in the face of tough times can mean the world to our participants. I can tell you that many of the parents I have recorded have expressed their appreciation to all of the supporters for thinking of them and their children. So again, we sincerely thank you for continuing to give us the opportunity to do great work.
Image courtesy Google Maps.