Quietly Changing Lives
No one can believe that this ministry has grown so much. Letter writing was a lost art, but which is now found. From the comfort and safety of your home you can reach into a prison and maybe change a person’s life. Prison offers very little. Sentences are not fair. The rich get richer the poor get poorer.
I came to prison because I was living with a girl that had two kids, lost my job and could not get one. I went to a local market and up loaded a cart. When I thought no one was looking I bolted, dumped the cart and was arrested before I could pick it all up. I was given five years. My girlfriend left and took the kids to a shelter. I could not believe what had happened to my life, so I joined Someone Cares. I got a letter from an 88-year old lady, not what I wanted but what else did I have. We became real friends. She would send me stamps now and then. I started going to church and my life changed. I also got six other inmates involved.
I was sent to prison for dealing in drugs and sex. I was sent to the prison at Coldwater, Michigan. It was really bad. There are things women need but we could not get. The Bible study group was really bad as there was no chaplain. After a month we were told we were getting a chaplain, Yvonne. She was neat but not from the street. She told us about love in all the right places. She told us stories from the Bible and I accepted Christ. Some of the tough inmates tried to run her off. Not this lady. I’m out, married and go to church because Someone Cares.
We have a lot of unclaimed mail! So, we are asking you to send us your name and pen name, then hopefully we can get this mail to the right person. Also, if you are just joining our ministry, please pick a first and last name for your pen name. Ask the Pen Friend to print both names. If they are using a pencil it can be tough to read. Remember - if you write and do not get an answer, please write again or return the inmate’s information to us and we will match you with a new name. Getting paper, pen, pencil and stamps can be tough.
Yvonne and Don
Came to San Quentin
highly recommended. I
had quite a few volunteers
but none like these
two. I put them in C
section, a very hardcore
cell block. This was the
worst of the worst. When
they arrived they both
carried big cases full of things they gave out. Don carried both to
the block and Yvonne dragged hers up the cell block. I’m sure they
have told you - five tiers high, fifty cells to a tier and gun rail everywhere.
For respect someone called out, “The God Squad is here -
get straight and dressed.“ Two days a week they trugged through
this block passing out Bibles, paper and pencils, often stamps. They,
from this mad house, started a Pen Friend Program. I am sure,
because of their efforts, some of these men went straight. I gave
Don the job of informing inmates of bad news, mostly deaths.
Frankly I do not think I could have done better. Because of distance
and expenses, they had to move to Kentucky. Everyone missed The
We are so happy to have many new folks join us. We really need people to encourage those in prison, and let them hear their name called when they get mail. It is a very lonely place. We welcome you and will be praying for all of you.
We will have an additional address, Box 65629, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825. Mail to old address will be transferred for 90 days.
God bless Rev. Dr. Pepper. This lady was with us for forty years and wrote so many inmates. She told me once that when she stopped trying to bring them up to her lever and got down to theirs. she has a lot for us for many inmates.
WE ASK EACH OF YOU TO SEND US YOUR FULL ADDRESS, YOUR NAME AND PEN NAME.
PLEASE MAKE IT TWO NAMES. ASK YOUR FRIEND TO PRINT HARD WHEN USING PENCIL.
The Pen Friend Program started at San Quentin and is now everywhere. This is what happens. The inmates request to join. We send them an application that tells them this is a Christian ministry. They do not have to be a Christian but the person writing to them will be. The application asks for quite a bit of information. They are required to send a letter of introduction with the application. We receive the application and letter and send it to you. You read their information and either write back or return it to us. We enclose a form for you to fill out for us only. Hopefully you now write a letter. You address the envelope to the inmate with their name, number and address. Then for return you have your name or pen name (make pen name two names.) You seal the envelope to inmate and put it in enveloped to us with your pen name and real name and our address. We take your letter to inmate and mail it and put your information on computers. If you don’t write or quit, please return the inmate’s information to us.
Another way to write is via e-mail. You can e-mail your letter to us. We will send it to them so make sure you start with their name and address. We then “snail mail” it to your inmate. We scan his/her answer and e-mail it to you. This adds expense to us so please help if you can with donations.
In August we will once again be on the radio. If you miss the program you can hear it on our web page. If you have any special letters or poems we can read on air or personal experience you have had for us to share rush them to us.
Also, in July we are going to be in The Recorder in California.
We really do need a bunch of writers to finish what Jesus
started. As I write this, it is my 86th Birthday and we are excited to
keep on keeping on. We have a huge stack of letters from inmates
that we cannot fill. Please share this with you Pastor.
A post office has opened near us and we have a new post office box number. The new PO box number is 65629. However, our old box number will be good for the next six months. Note: P.O. Box 65629, Fort Wayne Indiana, 46825.
My name is Jimmy. I joined your program to see what I could get for me from you. I was matched twice and I learned you are not kidding. My third match was a 67 year old man who is now a friend. I learned a lesson. I am a fool and in here because of it. I am not a Christian but trying thanks to you who do care.
We hear from guards, staff, wardens and some of you that many convicts see the light. Praise God! This makes all our efforts worthwhile.
These inmates are in a very dark place, either literally or spiritually, and usually both. But you have the opportunity to let your light shine on them. (We don’t call it “Paper Sunshine” for nothing!)
How many of you were once adrift and saw the light from a “lighthouse” to help guide you along the way? Has anyone ever thrown you a life-line and pulled you to safety? Have you been that light to someone? Let us hear from you–we love to hear your stories, good or bad. (If you do have any bad stories or problems, let us knowso we can help.)
“... Let your light shine before
men, that they may see your
good deeds and praise your
Father in heaven.”
June 8th was my birthday–I’m as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth. My three presents were free: 1) Jesus, who changed me and set me free; 2) Yvonne, who led me to Jesus and has loved me and been my helpmate for years; and 3) Someone Cares Prison Ministry.
Our ministry (and that includes all of you reading this) is headed by Jesus, and with His help it has grown considerably with no signs of letting up. Now, each birthday I get a little older and some day someone is going to have to take over this ministry. One of our daughters, Ronna, and her son, Jake, have fallen on hard times. Ronna lost her job just after we moved away from Indiana. She is talented and a hard worker, and Jake is a gifted youth who needs a bit of direction, but he is also very talented. Both have worked in this ministry and know it well, so we would like to find a place for them to live here, get them moved before Jake starts school again, and have them start working for Someone Cares to help us with all the work there is to do.
This will be an expensive undertaking, so we are asking in Jesus’ name that all who are able to please give a sacrificial offering to help make this happen. We are also going to need two used computers (theirs were stolen), and a quality used car. This is asking a lot, but it will provide the help this ministry so desperately needs.
We have faith that this move will take place. Our plan is that Yvonne and Ronna will handle the mail and Jake will handle record keeping as well as matching pen friends with inmates. I will continue to train men and women for working inside the prisons. Everyone else (you) can help a great deal by spreading theword about this ministry wherever you can, at Church, schools, work, etc. This could potentially secure the future of Someone Cares for a long time to come.
Moving Ronna and Jake here, and all the changes that need to be made to accommodate this growing ministry for Jesus’ sake, will initially cost about $5,000 - a small price to pay for leading men and women in prison to Jesus. Supporting this ministry provides a blessing for many, and a tax deduction for the supporter!