For many years, Sojourners has provided Christmas gifts–hygiene kits, greeting cards, stationery, stamps and pencils—for incarcerated women at Fluvanna Correctional Center for Women. This year, the Seeking and Sharing Group sponsored the project. Our goal was to provide 200 hygiene kits. Our final count was 287 kits plus 2 boxes of stationary!
This Christmas gift program started in 1998 when the correctional center opened. It is sponsored through GraceInside and supported entirely by donations.
WHY? Although indigent women are provided basic supplies, they are the size of hotel samples, must last 30 days, and are poor quality. Items that can be purchased on commissary are expensive and often of inferior quality, “bottom of the barrel”, said one chaplain. Many cannot afford to buy commissary items, Those who work are paid about 27 to 80 cents an hour, so most would have to work weeks to buy what our kit provides. So, these Christmas gifts are treasured by the residents, and it is our privilege to “visit those in prison” through this ministry.