LIFE IS NOT A BOWL OF CHERRIES
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.
MY NAME IS NOW A NUMBER
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.
MY NAME IS SALLY
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
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.
MY NAME IS CHAPLAIN
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
Chaplain Harry Howard (deceased)
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
REVEREND DR. PEPPER
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
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.
LIFE TALK RADIO
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.
Yvonne, Don, Ronna and Jake
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
MY NAME IS JIMMY
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.
ARE YOU AN INMATE’S LIGHTHOUSE?
The following article is reprinted from
our July, 2009 newsletter.
We hear from guards, staff,
wardens and some of you that
many convicts see the light.
Praise God! This makes all our
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
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
“... Let your light shine before
men, that they may see your
good deeds and praise your
Father in heaven.”
THIS MINISTRY MUST GO ON
The following two articles are reprinted from our July, 2009 newsletter.
It is amazing how far God has taken us over the years.
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.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
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
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!