Author Joanie McEwen visits Mission Medium and Minimum on May 4th

On May 4th, author of  Innocence on Trail , Joanie McEwen, visited both Mission Medium and Mission Minimum book clubs. Special thanks to Joanie, as well as to Mission volunteer Cathy Carnrite for coordinating these visits.  Below is her letter to Cathy Carnrite and Carol Finlay.     What an absolutely amazing time I had today! I can’t remember the last time I spent four more engaging hours.   The book club attendees were fabulous: the questions, commentary--and insights!--so compelling.   I actually felt, at the end, that perhaps I was making the smallest of differences in at least some of their lives. Which is, as both of you know, all the thanks that we need.  Cathy, so good to meet you. Our hours together in the car and over lunch flew by. We are truly kindred spirits, in so many ways.   I am so respectful of the fact that you have worked tirelessly with these book clubs for so long. Wow! Thank you for the long hours you have put in. The guys are obviously so fond of you and appreciative of your efforts.  Carol, Once again, I can’t say enough about the impact you are having on these people. We talked a lot today about how society forgets people post-conviction and pre-parole. So sad, because of course so very much happens behind “the walls.” Kudos to you for all that you do.  It is with a full heart that I thank you both.  Best, Joanie

On May 4th, author of Innocence on Trail, Joanie McEwen, visited both Mission Medium and Mission Minimum book clubs. Special thanks to Joanie, as well as to Mission volunteer Cathy Carnrite for coordinating these visits.

Below is her letter to Cathy Carnrite and Carol Finlay.

What an absolutely amazing time I had today! I can’t remember the last time I spent four more engaging hours.

The book club attendees were fabulous: the questions, commentary--and insights!--so compelling.

I actually felt, at the end, that perhaps I was making the smallest of differences in at least some of their lives. Which is, as both of you know, all the thanks that we need.

Cathy, so good to meet you. Our hours together in the car and over lunch flew by. We are truly kindred spirits, in so many ways.

I am so respectful of the fact that you have worked tirelessly with these book clubs for so long. Wow! Thank you for the long hours you have put in. The guys are obviously so fond of you and appreciative of your efforts.

Carol, Once again, I can’t say enough about the impact you are having on these people. We talked a lot today about how society forgets people post-conviction and pre-parole. So sad, because of course so very much happens behind “the walls.” Kudos to you for all that you do.

It is with a full heart that I thank you both.

Best, Joanie

BCFI Luncheon on Friday, May 10th

Ontario volunteers who gathered at the BCFI luncheon on Friday, May 10 in Kingston, had the enormous privilege of meeting and listening to guest of honour Robert Clark - author of Down Inside: 30 Years in Canada’s Prison System.

Rob was movingly welcomed by volunteer Michael Hurley, with two beautiful poems he had written in his honour. Read Michael’s beautiful poems in our News and Media section here: http://www.bookclubsforinmates.com/media-1

 Anyone who has read Rob’s book will remember it as informative, insightful and often heart-breaking. It is also eloquent testimony not only to his own humanity, but to the humanity he chose to see, honour and nourish in inmates during his 30 years of work ‘down inside’.

 

The stories Rob told us in his informal, easy manner - often in response to our questions - rang bells for every one of us. They served as well to remind us of exactly why we are drawn to volunteering in the book clubs, and why our members thank us so often and so profusely.

 

I know I was left with even greater appreciation for members of the prison staff who I have been fortunate to meet (and I’m sure we have all met several during the course of our volunteering) who work every day under difficult and discouraging circumstances, often at considerable personal cost, to offer self-respect and hope in a place where those are hard to come by.

 

Lindsay Morgan

Volunteer – Joyceville Assessment Unit

Thanks for the love!

Our thanks to Class Action! News for helping to get the word out about Book Clubs for Inmates and our ChIRP program in their Spring 2019 issue.

Our Children of Inmates Reading Program (“ChIRP”) helps to build and enhance a healthier parent / child relationship, develop literacy skills, and promote a love of learning in children through the consistent presence of a parent and books.

Through the program, inmates are offered the opportunity to select a book for their child and then read that book into a recording device. The recording and book are then mailed to the child.

For a number of the participants, reading aloud has not been part of their childhood experience nor has it been part of their parenting. What a lovely and simple way to bring the joy of reading aloud to the inmates and their children!

For more information about ChIRP, please click here!

To donate, please click here!