Praise from both the prison warden and the prisoners—it’s one way nonprofit volunteers like Cheri (right) know they’re doing the right thing. After Dane County TimeBank members taught mindfulness and non-violent communication in a women’s prison, the warden said that the entire culture of the prison had shifted for the better. “The work you’ve done . . . is amazing and I want you to know that I’m singing your praise,” said the warden.
One woman sent a note: “How do I begin to thank you for bringing me a way to live, a method to quiet my mind, and a way to know that I am connected to all that is around me?”
As her parole date approached another woman wrote, “I am excited and somewhat anxious but never fearful. Those fear-filled days are part of my past.” About the apartment she hoped to find, she said, “I may not be able to fill it with materials things at first but I’ll fill it with love, compassion, honesty, trust, and a coffee pot—and the rest will come. You opened a door for me . . . As I get ready to leave this place I go with an open heart . . . and with a deep bow of gratitude.”