The holiday season may have come to an end, but that doesn’t mean we need to stop giving gifts. Throughout the year, we can be a blessing to our family and friends with little mementos of our love. Our loved ones in prison probably need this reminder more than those on the outside. They need reassurance that they have support outside the confining walls. However, we know that gift-giving in prison can be a little challenging. So what exactly can you do?
Gift them your time
Gifts don’t have to be a physical item. You can gift your time by visiting your loved one. It can be difficult to make the time for this, but it can be incredibly impactful. Just make sure to learn all of the rules and regulations before visiting.
Mail them little mementos
There are plenty of physical gifts you can provide as well. It can be something as simple as pictures of their children, other family members and you. They will treasure these mementos. You can make a card for them, write them a letter or even dabble in poetry. If they have children, consider asking the kids to draw pictures that you can send them. Check on the prison rules regarding how many photos you can send at once and any possible sizing rules.
Provide them with reading materials
It can get pretty lonely and boring in a jail cell. Provide reading enrichment and entertainment in the form of novels, coloring or activity books and magazines. There are probably specific requirements about what vendors you can send subscriptions and books from, so make sure to learn this before sending.
Help with finances
One thing your loved one will want more than most things is money in their account. This will allow them to buy additional snacks, possibly reading materials and stationery. It can also provide funds for them to call their loved ones.
The holiday season may be over, but please don’t stop gifting. Every second you spend providing this type of support to your loved ones matters. They need this positive reinforcement as they deal with the dark circumstances of living behind bars.
[Monalisa Johnson is a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel and a certified life coach as well as a mother and entrepreneur. In no way is anything that she writes, speaks or shares considered medical advice or clinical therapy. Consider all that you receive to be life coaching and guidance.]