Incarcerated Man at Cleveland Facility says Volunteers “Pour Life Into Us”

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MTC’s Cleveland Correctional Center held a volunteer appreciation banquet to express gratitude to the faithful volunteers who spend countless hours helping to rehabilitate the men at the facility. Warden Michael Upshaw addressed the group of volunteers.

“As the chaplain said earlier, there’s no way that he and our staff can serve these men and give them everything that they get from you guys, and God bless each of you for doing that.”

Volunteers facilitate religious services, as well as the day with dads program, anger management, alcoholics anonymous, inside out dad, and many other programs.

Debra Asberry, a volunteer, said, “I’m really glad to know that there are programs that are really working to help them and I don’t mind being a part of that.”

Besides enabling programs and opportunities for the incarcerated men that would otherwise not be available, the volunteers represent a chance for the men to rub shoulders with folks outside the facility walls who aren’t staff.

“It’s a pretty diverse atmosphere,” said offender Patrick Williams.  “It’s an opportunity to get to grow and learn from other people.” 

Iran Harris, also incarcerated, agrees. “The experience has been amazing,” he said. “It gives me so much valuable insight on life. For them to be able to take time out of their busy schedules and come and just minister to us, and to love us, it’s just amazing. I thank God for it.”

Vernon Brackens, another incarcerated man, concluded, “I thank all the volunteers for coming down, donating time and energy, and pouring life into us.”