“I reread your feedback on days I feel down. Hearing how others see me now makes my life more hopeful.”
In 2020, we PLANTED SEEDS OF FREEDOM in California prisons and beyond. Now, we are excited to come together as a community to CULTIVATE THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE! Why “cultivate” the freedom to choose? With all the seeds we have planted thus far, it is our intention to encourage and foster on-going growth and healing on an even deeper level!
Our mission to support ‘Change from the Inside’ through compassionate experiential education for individuals impacted by incarceration remains very clear. How we accomplish this has changed radically during the pandemic. With in-person programming placed on hold indefinitely, we developed a series of self-study packets in the form of a series of 33-day challenges. Through your generous donations, we have sent out close to 3,300 packets, to 36 of the 39 prisons in California and to 5 states nationally!
“I am humbly grateful to take on this Challenge to better myself and my Community. I am a solution and no longer the problem. FTC 33-Day Challenge opened my heart and mind with the tools to look for the good within and in others.”
As COVID restrictions continue to hinder the restart of our in-person programming, we asked Spirit for guidance: How do we design a program that can offer a human-to-human, heart-centered connection that reflects the beauty of our in-person programs? In response to this question, we designed and launched more in-depth programming (“self-directed learning”) to over 630 participants at four granted prisons: CMC (in San Luis Obispo), SATF (in Corcoran), LAC (in Lancaster) and CCWF (in Chowchilla). In designing the curriculum, we knew we wanted to find a way to support and encourage the participants in a personal and meaningful way while they deepen their FTC skills. We all know the deep healing that can happen in FTC trios when we sit together and share heart-to-heart with our brothers and sisters who are incarcerated. Inspired by a Wisdom Counsel of FTC Alumni, we now have a team of dedicated volunteers who lovingly read our participant’s homework journals, (we call it GROWTHWORK) acknowledging and encouraging our participants on their path.
“I would like to thank you all for giving your time to help me in my growth as a better person, mother and child of God.
I receive your feedback with an open mind.”
Based on the feedback we are receiving, we know that this design is working. We also know, based on experience of running the reading program, it requires considerable resources! This is why the programming is currently offered only at our granted prisons. Our grants, both government and private, provide the funds for us to cover the costs of administration, materials and curriculum development.
What if we could provide this supportive and encouraging feedback to all of our self-directed learning participants? Right now, we have thousands of brothers and sisters in blue, already participating in our 33-day challenges, who would benefit from this personal and encouraging support on their healing journey. It is our heart-felt desire to offer this support, but we cannot do it without YOU!
Our goal is to offer the same level of personal and meaningful connection offered at our granted prisons to all folks experiencing incarceration who are interested in participating! That’s where YOU can help! We have calculated that it costs $300 to support each participant for 6 months of curriculum. Our goal is to offer this curriculum to 1,000 folks experiencing incarceration in 2022 IN ANY PRISON, IN ANY STATE! We know this is a BIG VISION but we also know how desperately the support is needed!
“Thank you for your time. Your feedback gives me that extra boost to do the work. Sometimes I feel like just giving up, but knowing that you are giving me a bit of your time gives me motivation. Thank you!”
“Your feedback means the world to me because you show me my growth and self-worth through your comments. You show me that you care about my betterment. Thank you.”
“Thank you for taking the time to help guide me through this process. I truly appreciate the dedication you guys have in helping us redeem ourselves to our families and communities.”
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.”