Hello, (name of group).
Today, I’m going to tell you about a group of women who look beyond the familiarity of their everyday moments to touch the lives of women in emotionally hard places and dark circumstances.
This Stonecroft group doesn’t meet in a restaurant, country club, or community meeting place. Instead these women hold their monthly meetings in the Lafayette, Louisiana, Parish Correctional Center with the female detainees as their guests. If you closed your eyes, you could think you are at a regular Stonecroft meeting! Inmates get a catered meal, enjoy music, and hear an inspirational message from a Stonecroft Speaker who has overcome life challenges and found hope.
Hope. Tamarah, the Stonecroft Chair, says hope is what the women in the jail feel after Stonecroft has been there. No matter the inmates’ situation, the accusation, their past or future, Stonecroft women reach out to them with this hope that things can be better. And Stonecroft is willing to help them along the way.
In addition to the monthly meeting, Stonecroft women return weekly to meet with the detainees in a small group setting, building relationships and hosting a Bible study that gives life guidance. Because many of the inmates are awaiting trial, their stay is short. Every week, 50% of the small group participants are new. The frequent turnover doesn’t hinder the Stonecroft women. They know every word spoken, every smile given, and every moment shared matter to women seeking hope.
Stonecroft reaches out to about 50 women monthly at the correctional center. Each inmate they work with receives a 3 x 5 card with a list of free community resources where they can get transportation, housing, food, work clothing, and other needs met upon their release. They also receive Stonecroft booklets that include phone numbers of group members should the women want to get involved with churches and Bible studies or have other needs.
Tamarah explains that it can be tough when you’re released late at night with nowhere to go or no way to get somewhere. The group supplies the information to help the former detainees get a good start to a new life. It’s an extra mile of help with an extra dose of hope.
And repeated “thank-you’s” grow with each woman helped.
More and more Stonecroft groups are taking steps to give value and provide hope to women in their community. Sometimes it’s to the women they see every day, such as neighbors, co-workers, the clerk at the store, or someone in gym class. Or sometimes, it’s to women you must go looking for, such as the inmates in the Lafayette correctional center. We value each woman, where she is, as she is.
As we prepare to receive Stonecroft donations, think of someone who reached out to you at a moment you needed to be valued, hear hope, or feel loved. Your gift today is a way to give back for the hope extended to you.
Your tax-deductible gifts can be placed in the envelopes. On the envelope flap, you have the opportunity to make a one-time gift or a monthly donation. Your table host is passing around a larger envelope to receive your envelope.
Today, thousands are receiving hope because you give. I thank you for reaching out to other women with hope for the present ‒ and the future.