Snail Mail Ministry

Prince3

"I would love for you to be open with me and comfortable. You can ask me any question, or if you're confused about something please feel free to ask." -Inmate at Patuxent

Like many of our volunteers, Bob Carmen was initially discouraged and a bit nervous when the pandemic closed detention facility doors…and when he found out he’d be keeping up with youth via snail mail. 

“I have always enjoyed challenging boys outside of their comfort zone…[but] writing letters has most certainly taken me out of MY comfort zone,” he remarked when reflecting on his time volunteering with unCUFFED. But despite this early discomfort, Bob has found joy in writing, remarking that he has “been privileged with the opportunity to connect” because it “has been a blessing knowing that he is still able to keep in touch.” 

This sentiment is shared by our 34 person letter-writing team, which includes staff members, experienced unCUFFED mentors like Bob, and, most notably, new volunteers from around the country who felt called by God to write during this challenging time. In just a few months, they’ve connected with hundreds of youth, writing more than 350 letters about everything from faith to COVID-19 to the Baltimore Ravens. Many of the youth have responded with stories of what they’re reading during quarantine, what they fear the most (illness, finances, and more), and how they’re relying on God during this time. Still others have agreed to new pen-pals, sharing their life stories from their past mistakes, their current hobbies, and their future goals. One of these particularly moving letters, written from an inmate at Patuxent to a new volunteer from South Carolina, is pictured below. 

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, thank you for taking the time to reach out to me. I have been working with unCUFFED Ministries since 2016 and am so grateful for everything they have helped me with,” he begins before sharing about the mistakes that led him to incarceration. “There hasn’t been anything that happened in my life that has had the impact and changed me and my mindset the way this experience (incarceration) has…I am now 21 years old, I have given all my time these last 4 years to rehabilitating and working on myself…I am looking forward to coming home and helping kids at risk, try to share my story/experience/life, hopefully impact others in a positive way.” His pen-pal, Diane Horkey from Charleston told us, “I was impressed that he was so open and honest; he didn’t hold back. He is conscious of the consequences of his actions and how his choices affected others.”

Interested in joining our team?

Has God been calling you to step outside your comfort zone and find new ways to minister to others during the pandemic? Has the time of social distancing left you feeling more isolated, searching for new connections? Or have your typical obligations–work, school, church–suddenly halted due to the shutdown, leaving you with more free time and in need of new ministries to support? If you answered yes to any of these questions, know that there is still time to join our letter-writing team. You don’t need to be a poet or a pastor to connect with incarcerated youth in this way: all that is needed is a strong Christian faith, a compassionate heart, and a willingness to be yourself with pen and paper.

Become a pen-pal here.

Prince3

"I would love for you to be open with me and comfortable. You can ask me any question, or if you're confused about something please feel free to ask." -Inmate at Patuxent

Like many of our volunteers, Bob Carmen was initially discouraged and a bit nervous when the pandemic closed detention facility doors…and when he found out he’d be keeping up with youth via snail mail. 

“I have always enjoyed challenging boys outside of their comfort zone…[but] writing letters has most certainly taken me out of MY comfort zone,” he remarked when reflecting on his time volunteering with unCUFFED. But despite this early discomfort, Bob has found joy in writing, remarking that he has “been privileged with the opportunity to connect” because it “has been a blessing knowing that he is still able to keep in touch.” 

This sentiment is shared by our 34 person letter-writing team, which includes staff members, experienced unCUFFED mentors like Bob, and, most notably, new volunteers from around the country who felt called by God to write during this challenging time. In just a few months, they’ve connected with hundreds of youth, writing more than 350 letters about everything from faith to COVID-19 to the Baltimore Ravens. Many of the youth have responded with stories of what they’re reading during quarantine, what they fear the most (illness, finances, and more), and how they’re relying on God during this time. Still others have agreed to new pen-pals, sharing their life stories from their past mistakes, their current hobbies, and their future goals. One of these particularly moving letters, written from an inmate at Patuxent to a new volunteer from South Carolina, is pictured below. 

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, thank you for taking the time to reach out to me. I have been working with unCUFFED Ministries since 2016 and am so grateful for everything they have helped me with,” he begins before sharing about the mistakes that led him to incarceration. “There hasn’t been anything that happened in my life that has had the impact and changed me and my mindset the way this experience (incarceration) has…I am now 21 years old, I have given all my time these last 4 years to rehabilitating and working on myself…I am looking forward to coming home and helping kids at risk, try to share my story/experience/life, hopefully impact others in a positive way.” His pen-pal, Diane Horkey from Charleston told us, “I was impressed that he was so open and honest; he didn’t hold back. He is conscious of the consequences of his actions and how his choices affected others.”

Interested in joining our team?

Has God been calling you to step outside your comfort zone and find new ways to minister to others during the pandemic? Has the time of social distancing left you feeling more isolated, searching for new connections? Or have your typical obligations–work, school, church–suddenly halted due to the shutdown, leaving you with more free time and in need of new ministries to support? If you answered yes to any of these questions, know that there is still time to join our letter-writing team. You don’t need to be a poet or a pastor to connect with incarcerated youth in this way: all that is needed is a strong Christian faith, a compassionate heart, and a willingness to be yourself with pen and paper.

Become a pen-pal here.

Like many of our volunteers, Bob Carmen was initially discouraged and a bit nervous when the pandemic closed detention facility doors…and when he found out he’d be keeping up with youth via snail mail. 

“I have always enjoyed challenging boys outside of their comfort zone…[but] writing letters has most certainly taken me out of MY comfort zone,” he remarked when reflecting on his time volunteering with unCUFFED. But despite this early discomfort, Bob has found joy in writing, remarking that he has “been privileged with the opportunity to connect” because it “has been a blessing knowing that he is still able to keep in touch.” 

This sentiment is shared by our 34 person letter-writing team, which includes staff members, experienced unCUFFED mentors like Bob, and, most notably, new volunteers from around the country who felt called by God to write during this challenging time. In just a few months, they’ve connected with hundreds of youth, writing more than 350 letters about everything from faith to COVID-19 to the Baltimore Ravens. Many of the youth have responded with stories of what they’re reading during quarantine, what they fear the most (illness, finances, and more), and how they’re relying on God during this time. Still others have agreed to new pen-pals, sharing their life stories from their past mistakes, their current hobbies, and their future goals. One of these particularly moving letters, written from an inmate at Patuxent to a new volunteer from South Carolina, is pictured below. 

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, thank you for taking the time to reach out to me. I have been working with unCUFFED Ministries since 2016 and am so grateful for everything they have helped me with,” he begins before sharing about the mistakes that led him to incarceration. “There hasn’t been anything that happened in my life that has had the impact and changed me and my mindset the way this experience (incarceration) has…I am now 21 years old, I have given all my time these last 4 years to rehabilitating and working on myself…I am looking forward to coming home and helping kids at risk, try to share my story/experience/life, hopefully impact others in a positive way.” His pen-pal, Diane Horkey from Charleston told us, “I was impressed that he was so open and honest; he didn’t hold back. He is conscious of the consequences of his actions and how his choices affected others.”

Interested in joining our team?

Has God been calling you to step outside your comfort zone and find new ways to minister to others during the pandemic? Has the time of social distancing left you feeling more isolated, searching for new connections? Or have your typical obligations–work, school, church–suddenly halted due to the shutdown, leaving you with more free time and in need of new ministries to support? If you answered yes to any of these questions, know that there is still time to join our letter-writing team. You don’t need to be a poet or a pastor to connect with incarcerated youth in this way: all that is needed is a strong Christian faith, a compassionate heart, and a willingness to be yourself with pen and paper.

Become a pen-pal here.