I always loved
to volunteer. So when my aunt called and told me she had an
oppurtunity for me to help out a special cause, I leaped at the
chance. I didn’t know what I was volunteering for until the day I
My first day at
volunteering was in 2017. It was around Christmas time and I was
decorating and coloring these “Gift of Light” bags for a pastor
at a church to deliever. I was hesistant at first. I didn’t want to
make bags for criminals especially if I didn’t know what they were
locked up for. The pastor understood what I was going through. At one
point, he said even he was hesistant.
responsiblity as a volunteer was to make good bags for these men and
cheer the up. I didn’t know any of them personally, but one day,
out of curiousity, I asked the pastor about some of the criminals. He
told me the story about one man who was imprisnoed for a robbery that
turned into murder when he was younger. For years, this man was
locked up. The pastor told me that this man didn’t feel any guilt
in his crime until a couple years ago when he thought back on his
life. The man tried to turn his life back around by connecting with
God. He tried to connect with his family as well, but they refused to
connect back with him. He was lonely for a lot of holidays when other
prisoners had family visit them.
changed my whole perspective. A man who is a reformed criminal, just
wanted to be shown kindness with the “Gift of Light” bags. The
pastor showed me that my volunteer was helping somebody who was tough
on the outside, but soft and kind on the inside. I was happy knowing
that I was helping someone who just wanted a second chance.
I now go by the
motto “Show others kindness because you never know their story.”
A man who I don’t even know, has shown me that caring goes a long
way. I still to this day volunteer for the Prison Ministry, and along
the way, these unknown prisoners have taught me lessons that I
continually live by.