We cannot and do not judge those who are incarcerated, nor feel sorry for them; they do not want nor need pity. However, to be truly present and offer solidarity in difficult times, we must be aware of some of the factors, such as those named above, that lead to high incarceration rates in our nation, state and city.
Our ministry is based on the Gospel mandate found in Matthew 25: 36, “I was in prison and you visited me.”
Our call is to befriend and accompany detainees. Effective ministry is about listening to one another’s stories, reconnecting with each other, God and community, praying together, supporting one another, believing in the capacity to become whole and find joy, love and peace in this world. Where possible, our role is to provide opportunities for reconciliation and healing for victims and perpetrators of crime, their families and communities.
If the reality above concerns you and you’re seeking ways to help, here are a few ideas:
Organize a collection of those items on the wish list in your parish, school or business.
Gather to pray regularly for those who are in jail or prison, their families, the victims of violent crimes and an end to violence in our cities, nations and world.
Inform the Kolbe House staff of jobs that might be available for those released from jail or prison.
Invite someone from Kolbe House to come to your school or parish to share some stories and the realities of those who are incarcerated.
Donate to Kolbe House to help keep this important ministry vibrant.
On Your Own and in Your Communities
You Can Tutor a young person who is struggling in school. There are many organizations with whom you could work. One place in need of tutors is the Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation at 51st and Elizabeth, 773.579.0781.
Write your congressperson about injustices you see regarding the Department of Corrections policies and practices, especially those regarding the death penalty. Click here for U.S. representatives, click here for U.S. Senators.
Make it your business
Make it your business to stay educated about issues pertaining and contributing to incarceration of children, women with children, those who are poor or mentally ill.
Gather to pray regularly for those who are in jail or prison, their families, the victims of violent crimes and an end to violence in our cities, nations and world. Prayer is a powerful tool for transformation and building up the Family of God.
We invite individuals, churches, schools and all other organizations to actively support Kolbe House through donation of any the following items.
Non-Perishable Food Items
These include rice, beans, cereals, dry and canned food.
Office Depot, OfficeMax or Staples Gift Cards help provide copy paper purchases, and Kolbe House uses cases of paper to produce our publication Making Choices. Your business or organization can also directly donate cases of 11 x 17 copy paper. Cash donations are also accepted.
CTA Transit Cards
Transit cards help individuals and families with transportation to / from work, court and jail visits. Seven-day passes or cash to buy passes are welcomed.
Gift Cards for Payless Shoes
Payless gift cards allow for the purchase of work and dress shoes for inmates.
Gift Cards for Walmart and Target
Walmart and Target are primary sources for Kolbe House to purchase socks, underwear and jeans.
Stamps and Christmas Cards
Stamps and Christmas cards will help detainees stay in touch with family and friends on the outside.