|Baskets of Love
People returning to society from prison face many challenges. Their resources are few and their needs are great. “They come out of prison with nothing,” said Chaplin Isaac Berkholder of the Franklin County Jail.
During the month of April, the Social Ministry Committee of St. Luke is once again focusing efforts on welcoming back into our communities those released from prison.
How can we help provide a welcoming environment to aid in this difficult transition?
One way is by providing Baskets of Love in association with the Criminal Justice System Ministry of the Lower Susquehanna Synod.
What are Baskets of Love?
A basket of love is a laundry basket containing simple items such as toiletries, detergent, stationary and more to be distributed locally.
How is this important?
People reentering society cannot afford to purchase many of the things necessary to help find employment, housing, or to contact family. By providing this assistance we are showing that we care and that we welcome our neighbors back into our communities.
How can I help?
There are several ways members of our congregation may choose to help. You could take on the project of providing a complete basket using the recommended shopping list shown here. Or, you might select one or more items to contribute so that we can assemble baskets as a joint effort. Perhaps you might like to provide a grocery shopping gift card or a cash contribution for us to purchase items to complete partial baskets.
Providing the basic products needed for good hygiene removes an enormous financial burden on the newly released and gives the opportunity to make a better impression at a job interview.
COMMUNICATING WITH OTHERS
Keeping in touch with family and friends is important. Shop around for low cost pens, paper, and paper. A small address book is a great idea also.
When seeking employment, appropriate clothing is essential. Gift cards help purchase suitable clothing.
When and where can I leave my contributions?
Throughout the month of April, baskets (or items to be put into baskets) can be placed in the boxes in the education entrance. Contributions can also be made in Sunday offerings – mark envelope “Baskets of Love”. The Social Ministry Committee will be delivering the baskets in early May.
A list of suggested items may be obtained through the office at St Luke.