Sharing Stories That Matter
T.J. Easley spent his entire career as a corrections officer. Now retired, he still goes back into prisons and jails, but as a volunteer with LSSI's Storybook Project. He says the two go hand in hand.
He has seen the transformation of the men who are incarcerated as they participate. "They sit down and read a book to their child and break down in tears," said Easley. "When you see that and you see God's work there, if you don't walk away with a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye, you're not human."
The Storybook Project asks people to donate new children's books. Volunteers bring the books into prisons and jails, where parents who are incarcerated can choose a book to read to their child. Volunteers make a CD of the inmate reading the book aloud and recording personal messages. LSSI mails both the book and the CD to the child as a gift from their parent.
"It's about helping these parents reach back out to their children and show them, 'Hey, I know I messed up, but I'm still your dad and I still love you.'"