Ready or not, here comes the 24-hour online fundraiser! Amplify Austin is Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to Friday, 6:00 p.m.
Truth Be Told supporters have energized the build up to Thursday by creating their own fundraising campaigns, reaching out to their networks, scheduling donations, and raising matching funds. We are on track to meet our $10,000 goal, but like any race, we need a strong finish. And what feels better than exceeding a goal? Please continue to spread the good news about our work with incarcerated women and help us to Amplify Truth Be Told.
It is wonderful to see the 27 “Friend of Truth Be Told” personal fundraising campaigns that take up two whole pages on the Amplify site. We are definitely in the running for the $5,000 prize that goes to the nonprofit with the most fundraising campaigns. It is easy to get excited about the numbers aspects of this event; it gets the competitive juices flowing. Of course, the real value of Truth Be Told is in the stories, not the numbers. We have five Truth Be Told graduates who have taken the time to create fundraising pages to give back to an organization that has supported them. Please visit their pages and consider donating to one of their campaigns.
[youtube=http://youtu.be/pAJNmdniqEs]Produced by Firelight Films
Kay has been out for 9 months and she is supporting us from El Paso, TX. She is active in our Beyond Bars Program, and makes efforts to connect and support, in spite of a very busy life with a new job, new dog, and new car, new home, and renewed life.
Kay shared in a recent interview:
“When I first got out, I found that between classes I would lose momentum. The Keep on Talking Empowerment Group is very important to me. This last week the toastmaster spoke about the three elements of fear: motivation, sabotage: paralysis. I identified with the paralysis. I’d never looked at fear as being a motivator, so I’m still learning. This week, instead of hiding behind the computer and turning in applications online, I turned in an application in person and got two interviews. During the second interview, I was told I would be called back. I had to take tests and reveal my history.
I had to work at having a different attitude. I had to go and try because I have all these years of experience to offer. I have to use self-talking to encourage myself. It turned out to be a three-hour interview. It was a good experience. I turned fear into a motivator.” Kay did not get the job, after that 3-hour interview, but she used that experience to continue in her job pursuit and soon landed an amazing job in the pharmacogenomics field.”
Lauren just received her quilt (handmade quilts, by Doyle & Peggy Chandler, are given at the 3-year mark to honor this significant anniversary) to celebrate her three-year anniversary of being home with her husband and three boys. Lauren is also very active in re-entry efforts and uses her voice, at places like the legislature, to change laws that affect successful re-entry.
“Some people, who haven’t had the privilege of experiencing what Truth Be Told does, may not be able to fully understand what it is that they do. Some people might think that these women are just good citizens visiting people in prison – they would be wrong. Truth Be Told is healing entire communities by going into the jails and prisons to work with incarcerated women and transforming their lives. This work is creating a ripple effect into the communities that these women are going home to.”
“Truth Be Told is more than just three words to me – it’s a way of life, my way of life, and is only made possible because of the Truth Be Told program. …..Lost, scared, and alone I walked into her classroom not knowing what to expect but knowing I wanted and needed out of that prison cell to find something more. What I found was something that I will use and carry for the rest of my life. My main purpose for signing up was to find an escape but what I left with was something I don’t think anyone expected, Me, the true me.
The woman I am today is because of Truth Be Told.…The woman my sons will look up to, who they will turn to for love, guidance and acceptance. That is something I never would have learned to give without the help of Truth Be Told…Not only did I find myself inside that classroom, I found a community of sisters, who are always there for me.”
Cara married the man of her dreams, is the mother of two and has a job that she loves where they love her. Cara was released from prison in 2009, and she was released from parole supervision 18 months early, because of how well she is doing. She is significant in our Beyond Bars Program and continues to carry the message to inform others about change and transformation.
“I am one of those Women! I went into prison a girl, lost, afraid and without my voice. I didn’t have any idea who I was or how I got to into the mess I was in. One day I chose to get out of my prison cell and go to a class. Having no clue that I was walking into a classroom that would forever change ME! I don’t think I even knew how to tell the truth, let alone MY TRUTH. The facilitator gave me a journal, a tool to let it all out. I started writing and hardly stopped! I learned to use my body to express feelings I could not name. Through the tools of journaling, moving, trusting my community, vulnerability (yes that’s a tool) and truth telling I learned all about me.
I use these tools on a daily basis with my children. We shake our arms and let the ugly feelings out. We punch the air when we are angry or upset. We have jazz hands when we are happy. We communicate ALL THE TIME about EVERYTHING!
I am an active member of the Truth Be Told Beyond bars program and utilize the opportunities Truth Be Told offers to keep me in my community, to lean on the support system we have built together. I say YES YES YES to myself, my children and my community. Why do I say YES, I say YES YES YES because Truth Be Told said YES YES YES YES YES YES to me. Over and over again they embraced me and loved me. Through it all they taught me to love myself. To love myself enough to change from the inside out. I went through a major renovation while in prison. I am proud of who I am today. I choose to be the person I am today. The renovations are not over of course but that is why I stay connected!”
Dara has found her voice and has been an inspiration to the Truth Be Told Beyond Bars work. Several times a year, Dara goes into prison to share her experience, strength and hope. Her message, “you can begin again,” highlights the importance of not giving up, as the miracles are weaving their way in the hard work and determination. Dara’s story is about embracing integrity. Dara was release in November 2010 with only a sixth-grade education. She enrolled in ACC, and will graduate in August with a degree in General Human Services as a Phi Thetta Kappa HONOR STUDENT!
“HATE, CHAOS and ANGER that was my truth for 32 years. Truth Be Told created a place for me to admit that truth…admitting that part of me that wasn’t so pretty helped me to get underneath all that and realize I really didn’t hate, I HURT. Being vulnerable, exposing ALL those secrets, telling MY TRUTH about everything…started the process of RENOVATING my life…TRUTH BE TOLD helped start that process.
PRISON doesn’t teach telling the truth; in fact PRISON enforces “silence.”… THEN you walk into a TRUTH BE TOLD class and you LEARN that you have voice…you LEARN slowly to trust…you LEARN to really accept the truth about yourself…you LEARN to cry…you LEARN that it’s okay…you LEARN to laugh…you LEARN that you’re worth it…you start to heal from the inside…you LEARN to like yourself…you LEARN to like others…you LEARN to love yourself…you LEARN to love others…you LEARN tools that help you build a life that is strong…tools that help build a strong community…tools that enable you to have integrity…tools that help you LIVE on the “OUTSIDE”…TOOLS THAT CAN STOP RECIDIVISM!”