Getting involved matters. No matter how small you think it may be. Get involved. 
I am apart of a program called The Redemption Project. It was started in prison by an inmate and has been evolving into what it is now. It started small in 2009 with just 10 participants who completed it. Now, that number has grown to well over 3000. It went from one little class to multiple branches. 
Its entire existence is surrounding the idea that as inmates we need to be cognitively aware of our actions. Not just that, but much larger. We hold each other accountable to follow the rules, be successful using legal techniques. Sounds simple enough for the average Joe, but for the guy who was raised in a meth house by a couple of junkies, that was never taught. So to be apart of a group that holds a positive standard and gives you the opportunity to pay that gift forward, is incredible. 
Its not teaching right from wrong. Its making the right choices popular. While ostracizing negative choices. Anyone who is familiar with prison standards knows that this is monumental. Some would say its impossible. But a tide begins with a ripple and change happens slow. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, right?
As inmates who teach or facilitate this program we believe in the possibility of changing prison culture to end recidivism. Our commitment to one another is no more victims, repay society and help rebuild it. Its not a Kum Bai Ya (is that how its spelled?), its a reality, its action. 
My point is, each of us do what we can with all we’ve got. You should to. People in here (inmates and staff) know that we care. Genuinely. Those who you help will know that you care too. My life has been forever changed by the small step a person took to help their community. It doesn’t have to end there folks, your participation matters. Its not just money that solves problems, its people and their hearts. That’s what we need. If criminals (or former criminals in my case) can have hearts, so can you. 
If your to busy make it a family journey, use it to teach your children what help really means. Use it as a resume builder or college applications. Use it to feel good, to not sit by idly and reflect on what community used to be. Your apart of that problem to you know. We all are.

Get involved
With Love
Jeff Utnage