Part of Who They Are

People are more than their worst acts. We say that, and sometimes even believe it. Still we need it to be underlined once in a while, if not for ourselves, then to enable us to answer those who doubt it. That’s why this example stood out and made me take notice. An international medical charity in Virginia received a check for $15,000 made out to Project Hope, part of their Haiti relief effort. Of course, they wanted to know where it came from. They soon discovered it came from a group of women at the Ohio Reformatory for women called the “life group” since its members were serving sentences of 15 years to life. It’s a group of about 130 women who make money selling photographs of inmates with their families when they come to visit. Each picture sells for $3 to $5 giving the group about $6000 a month. When the inmates saw news of the earthquake in Haiti, they wanted to help. Staff members used the prison library to research the charities which provided aid.
We often forget that inmates are more than their worst deeds, and whether or not this act of giving and sharing is their best, it still is part of who they are.