My Life Scripture

Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV English Standard Version) Holy Bible
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let the reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds through Christ Jesus.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our day in Prison! Judging Cricut Scrapbooks!

What a day!

There are no pictures of this day.  Due to privacy, we cannot take pictures.  I hope my words can describe our day!

Sherrill, Teri, and I (S,T,and I) arrived at the prison at 11:00 AM, to judge scrapbooks made with the Cricut.   The scrapbooks were created by inmates in the prison.

We went through the check-in and waited for the activity supervisor of the Mental Health Department to arrive to escort us into the very center of the complex.  Even though I have been inside the prison often, there is something a little bit 'final' about the gates and doors shutting us in!

Mrs. J (supervisor) took us to a classroom in the facility where there were 3 tables of scrapbooks to be judged. 

The theme of the scrapbooks was 'Past, Present, Future'.
All 45 (plus) scrapbooks had construction paper fronts and backs.  On the front of each there was a large label cut from the Cricut with the inmates initials made with the Imagine!  All of the scrapbooks were created using magazine pictures and Cricut cuts.  Inmates could use their personal pictures, but very few have photos. The collage pages were to illustrate life before 'trouble', their life 'now', and what they want for the 'future'.

S,T, and I were given Diet Cokes, paper, and pencil to begin our task of judging the scrapbooks!  We began the process around 11:15 and ended at 12:55.  What an experience!  Everyone worked hard on their scrapbook.  We learned so much about each inmate through the choices they made from the magazines.  After careful evaluation, S,T,and I choose the one best scrapbook from each of the 3 classes that participated.

The winners will have a free private showing of a movie of their choice, plus, the winner can choose 5 friends to see the movie with her.  Soft drinks and popcorn will be served during the movie time!  This is a super treat for the inmates!

Thank you, Cricut Lady!
This is a sincere and truly heartfelt 'thank you' to the person that donated all the Cricut machines, Cuttlebug, and everything else!  One scrapbook had a full page thanking you!  Everything that was donated is being used!!

At 1:15, S,T,and I went across the hall to the gym.  Inmates were seated on bleachers in the middle of the floor.  There was a podium, speaker system, and table set up for a short program.  Then a poem and prayer was spoken by 2 inmates.  After the short welcome, certificates of completion were given to the inmates for completing a series of classes through the Mental Health program.  There was a table of crocheted hats, scarves, and blankets that were created by inmates in another class.  These items were made for the Nacoochee United Methodist Church and will be sent overseas for foreign missionaries to use.

The scrapbook judges (S,T,and I) were acknowledged and we were able to present the winners with a certificate and handshake!  There was much cheering for the winners!  What a wonderful experience it was to see fellow inmates rejoice with the winners!  Oh, yes, 15 other inmates are going to get to enjoy the prize, too!  Each winner can invite 5 people to enjoy their private movie showing!

After the short program, everyone had pizza, salad, sodas, and cookies (from Subway)!
It is difficult to describe the complete joy and happiness this pizza party provided for the inmates!  This was food brought from 'the outside' for all to enjoy.  There was enough pizza to feed everyone all they wanted!!  The salad...what a wonderful treat!  The inmates do not get fresh vegetables (even salads) often.  The cucumbers and tomatoes were so special!

At 3:30, it was time for S,T,and I to leave.  We were escorted to the prison entrance. Our drivers licenses and my car keys were returned and we left!  But not before leaving more paper donated by a local printing industry!

We were exhausted, but blessed beyond words at our experience!

If you have read through this post, thank you!
May you have a wonderful day!


23 comments:

Karons Krafty Korner said...

Absolutely amazing - you did a fantastic job describing it and I have tears in my eyes (I'm such a softy). What you did is awesome:-) TFS

Nadia (WithGlitteringEyes.com) said...

I am just teary-eyed reading this. You have created magic for these ladies. I can only imagine how therapeutic and fulfilling this kind of thing was for them.

And who is Cricut Lady? Is that a mb name? I love that she has provided such an incredible gift to these women. I have to assume that she wants to be anonymous, but what a kind and generous heart.

I love that you and your friends were able to do at this prison. You have helped them to celebrate their lives even when I imagine they don't often do that.

You have really provided for others in the exact way that Jesus spoke of when he talked about the Great and second Commandments of loving God and loving neighbor from Matthew. You have shown your love for God in this act for women who you would not have known otherwise and in a way that no one else has done for them. (I don't mean to be overly religious or sappy, but really you are so special.)

Thank you so much for sharing this. You are such an inspiration! And I love that the prison administration made this into such a celebration for the inmates. I love the ways this has uplifted so many!

Sara Andrews said...

Awww... this sounds amazing!

Thanks for sharing your trip with us.

Brenda said...

Carolyn -

What a wonderful time for the inmates, and you are a very special person for doing this for them! Thanks for posting this!

http://happyscrapper64.blogspot.com/

Cropalcoholic!! said...

I am speechless. I am in tears. Scrapbooking has brought so much so much joy to those prisoners. What a blessing. What a wonderful experience. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm happy for you and the inmates to have had this experience. May God continue to bless you, your friends and each of the inmates.

Carol
aka cyimbugbitten

Sandy from Ukiah said...

Oh Carolyn, I am so overwhelmed from reading this...God has certainly used you and your friends on this day to bless so many. Hugs

Diane said...

What an amazing lady you are, for bringing joy to the inmates. You just never know whose lives may turn around because of the kindness of others.

Scrappin with the bug said...

Carolyn -

What a great thing you have done for these ladies. While many may shy away from doing this type of program I am sure these ladies are very thankful for all you've done. It has to be a huge honor to be a part of these lives. I am sure that the scrapbook albums will be cherished for a long time with these families and ladies.

Kudos to you and keep up the GREAT work.

Cindy@ Scrap-obsessed.blogspot.com said...

You are such an angel for doing what you do for these women. You described the day beautifully and I can envision the smiles on their faces. A big thank you to you.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn,
Thank you for sharing this special time with us. God bless you richly for all you are doing. You are a great inspiration to us and to all the women you are helping.
Teresa Turner
rdrepublican@windstream.net

Sheila aka SassyLady said...

What a wonderful blessing this was for ALL of you to experience this... for them as they learned from your experience and were able to use it with all the donated items. And for you and your friends to see and feel the joy in their hearts. You were truly and instument of God with this experience. What a wonderful blessing you are.

Vanessa said...

What a beautiful thing to do! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

Gina piazza said...

What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing your talent with these ladies and for sharing your story with us.

Michele Green said...

This is so awesome! IT sounds like it was a really fun day for you and a really fulfilling experience for the ladies. Thanks for all you do!

Anonymous said...

DITTO!!!!

Even down to the tears!

Rebecca ( live2clickpics )

Georgiana said...

Sounds like a success! There need to be more generous sponsors to support these programs.

Georgiana
Carson's Creations

Anonymous said...

I was so moved reading your description of your day at the prison. You are awesome to donate your time and supplies and so are the others who donated. I do think crafts/art can change lives....you have proved it! I hope the inmates get more opportunities to use their creative side.

Deana L.

flowerdisco said...

so happy your day went well. i know how much it means for the inmates. my husband works in a youth facility and he tells me that much.
we are no judges.
it was a nice thing to do and it says a lot about all of you.

Cricutbug - Marie said...

What a wonderful and touching thing for you and your friends to do. You are truley amazing. I hope that your kindness to these women is returned to you ten times!

Diane said...

Sounds like a wonderful ministry! Glad you had a great day!

L.B. said...

So glad you were able to go and do this and that it was a joyful experience!

Lisa said...

What a wonderful story. I enjoyed reading that. You know, some people would think well, they deserve to be in prison if they commit crimes but you know, we all make mistakes, the important thing is to learn from them and we are not to judge others. That is such a wonderful calling for you and your friends. I'm sure the inmates will remember and cherish that day forever. God Bless you for caring.