When a program graduate chooses to stay in regular communication with Truth Be Told after incarceration, she receives a handmade quilt upon her three-year anniversary of freedom.
These one-of-a-kind quilts are part of Truth Be Told’s Quilt Project, which was started in 2004 by Peggy Chandler, the mother of Truth Be Told co-founder and Program Director Carol Waid. In 2010, upon his retirement, Carol’s Dad, Doyle Chandler, joined his wife in making the quilts “with love in every stitch.”
When asked what message she wants passed to every woman who receives a quilt, Peggy says: “Every time you look at the quilt, let it be a reminder that someone is thinking of you and pass this love onto someone else.”
To date, 64 women have received these special quilts. Since May, four women have celebrated their three-year anniversaries. Carol was able to personally deliver two of those quilts to graduates who live in Central Texas.
2015 Talk to Me Speaking graduate Sandra Roller received her quilt on June 2.
“I enjoy life today. I enjoy working in the hospitality industry, where I can give back to society, making someone’s day brighter,” says Sandra, who recently earned a promotion to front office assistant manager at the hotel where she works.
“I enjoy my family, my church family, and my clean and sober communities,” she says, adding that rebuilding family trust and earning respect is a “work in progress” and “does not happen overnight.”
“If you have learned from a mistake, you are growing,” she says. Sandra regularly volunteers for Truth Be Told and has even inspired her mother to give back. The mother-daughter duo has volunteered as Respectful Witnesses at two Truth Be Told graduations at Lockhart Correctional, where Sandra first experienced Truth Be Told as a program participant.
On June 25, Lisa Davis-Bell received her quilt. Lisa is a 2014 Talk to Me Movement graduate and a 2015 Talk to Me Writing graduate.
Lisa says that today she is “living life on my terms, no longer having to wear the mask of PRIDE.”
“I have a job that I love because it entails helping people,” says Lisa, who works as a premier corporate customer care associate for a major hotel chain. “My family life is stable, loving, forgiving and very supportive. For that, I am truly grateful. Having support from my family members and others is a BIG thing for me.”
When asked what gives her joy these days, Lisa says: “Being a changemaker in and for my community, giving back and setting an example. Being a poster child for my fellow sisters who are behind bars who will be set free. IT. CAN. BE. DONE!”