Gordon Philanthropies, Inc. and the Community Participant Mother Program (CPMP) hosted a Family Reading event for incarcerated mothers and their families.
The reading event featured a special performance by Mindy and Dave who read the beloved children’s book The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. Followed by a series of fun family activities such as egg races, card games, face painting, and toy train painting, the event provided an opportunity for incarcerated mothers and their families to gather and create unforgettable moments together. Families attending the event were also gifted books and goody bags on behalf of Gordon Philanthropies, Inc.
GP Executive Director, Sylvia Beanes shares, “There are moments in all our lives when we make poor decisions. I think this is an honest and fair description of being human. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that everyone’s circumstances vary, and people can be incarcerated for many reasons. It could be for stealing to feed their child, or substance abuse, and for a high percentage of people who are incarcerated, these motives can be traced back to poverty amongst other factors that are out of their control. In some cases, poverty can be the biggest prime mover to push someone to commit a crime.
Poverty is not an excuse, nonetheless, it is imperative to remember that we should aim to find forgiveness and grace for women and men who are incarcerated, and not treat our brothers and sisters as invisible, but rather with love and dignity.
Thanks to the wonderful partnership with CDCR and L.A. CADA, the family picnic created an opportunity to see families enjoying what many of us take for granted — coming together as a family to enjoy the beauty of nature, sit on a blanket and play Uno, laugh, banter, and enjoy delicious food.
Seeing a woman who is incarcerated lovingly embrace her child on a beautiful sunny Saturday, in a community setting, affirms the need to value the humanity of all parents and children, it leads to the recognition of every child’s need and want for their mother. When a mother is incarcerated, the voiceless victim is the newborn, the toddler, or the child who will miss moments of their mother caressing them with love. It is our hope that through events like these, we can help close the gap between mother and child separation”.