This is the first annual Valley Children’s Hospital hobby donation on C-yard. By Ms. D’s graciousness we were able to host a hobby donation for the children. Those photographed participated by putting their talents together, in a joint effort to bring joy to a child’s heart through arts and crafts. The items donated included: drawings, paintings, cards, colorings, models, paper-mâchés, bracelets, necklaces, beanies, stuffed animals, etc. We have so many talents and what better way to use those talents than donate to a child who must en- dure much more than we do at such a young age.
I encourage every yard in this facility to find the time to donate to those less fortunate. As difficult as our struggles maybe, they do not compare to a sick child’s. Your thought alone can bring strength; our prayers can expand their horizons, and our change and growth can bring healing. If it’s just a smile on a child’s face then that should be enough. A special thanks to Ms. D for making this a reality. Make a difference!
The pain, suffering, and damage that our hands have done is unthinkable. For many of us, we can never make up for the harm we have caused. But does that excuse us from giving back? From making an effort to repair our lives and the lives of others? There is no better way to accomplish this than giving to those less fortunate.
Here at Avenal State Prison, on Facility C, the men had the opportunity to put their talents together for a cause very precious and dear to every one of our hearts, giving back to children less fortunate who must endure a struggle far greater than our own.
These gentlemen you see here helped, with the use of their hands and creative talents, made the items on display. From drawings to paintings, from bead items to sculptures, even a knitted R2D2 and Darth Vader were made for the kids at the Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera. The amends process begins here, and being a part of this was a tremendous blessing and a privilege.
I would like to give a special thank you to Mrs. DeArmand for being the link we needed for this
special event to take place. Her willingness to help us get the hobby donations to the children
made all this possible.
The weight of the harm we caused weighs heavy. With every moment we spend dwelling on the weight how will we ever be free of it? The only way to lessen the weight is to give what has so freely been given us. The majority of us have second chances in life, one of those children might not. To give back what we’ve taken; peace, stability, security, and maybe even a life, seems impossible. But with each kindness, with each selfless act of service, help, and giving we have the opportunities to bridge the gaps that our decisions and crimes have created. It’s never too late to give back. I am so thankful to be a part of the healing and what is happening here at Avenal State Prison. Even beyond these fences, for all my fellow incarcerated men who take the initiative and make amends by giving back, I applaud you. I’m encouraged. Now becoming men of honor. Our crimes do not define us, they have the potential to rebuild us, if we let them. Let the past give you motivation in giving to those who need us in the present which will inevitably create a safer tomorrow.
Barry Wilson, Avenal participant