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Things To Know
Someone In My Corner
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What Am I Getting Myself Into?

Things to know before you get started!

     When you write to the children, you will be entering into a personal relationship between the child and yourself. We will not be able to monitor what you say to the children, or what the children say to you. We would, however, like to offer the following tips and guidelines.
1. Many of the children we help have had a lot of problems in their lives. They are in locked facilities for different reasons. We recommend that you don't ask too much about what they've done, or lecture them... at least not at first! It can be more positive to have a relationship in their lives that is NOT based around WHAT HAPPENED to put them in a locked facility. They may also be a little uncomfortable with adults, and starting out on a light-hearted, unaccusing note may be better for them.
2. Of course, if the children write to you about what happened in their lives to bring them to the locked facility, that's a different story. They may want an adult to confide in.
3. The child might ask you to send money or gifts. Of course, this is up to you, but we'd recommend working on building a supportive relationship with the child first. Also, if at any time you do wish to send the child something, please find out what they are allowed to recieve. Different facilities have different contraband lists. We will post some of them when we can!
4. We are not an evangelical organization or a prison mission. The kids we help come from all sorts of religious backgrounds, or possibly none. Our job is not to try to convince them to join our religion, or to tell them that if they concentrated on religion their problems would be easier. Perhaps you could ask the child about HIS OR HER beliefs and what helps HIM OR HER get through tough times!
5. Remember, it is up to you to be the responsible adult in the relationship! If the child asks you to do something illegal, or something you feel at all uncomfortable with, DON'T DO IT! Many of these kids have been through "the system" and have learned to be pretty manipulative. Rely on your instincts! If you have a question, feel free to email one of us! We will also soon have an online support group for adult penpals to join, so you could post your questions and concerns to others!
6. You can choose to stop writing to your child at any time. If you do, though, please notify us, so we can find the child another penpal!