The 4 groups you can reach with your cards:

Individuals affected by the addiction crisis:

The CDC estimates the more than 72,000 people died from drug overdose in 2017, a 10% increase from the previous year. Nearly 49,000 of those deaths were due to opioid overdose. Opioids killed more people in 2017 than gun violence, car crashes or AIDS have ever killed in a single year. The impact of addiction on family and friends is profound and people often do not have adequate support to manage such a heartbreaking and complex issue. This crisis is devastating entire communities and the government’s response has been completely inadequate.

One Woman’s Story

In and out of jails and prisons for years due to addiction, she’d been clean for 6yrs when she relapsed and ended up back in prison, this time for the longest sentence yet. One day in the medication line, another woman also stood when they called her last name. She approached the woman and asked for her first name. It was her daughter, whom she had lost custody of when she was only 3 years old. She had no idea where her daughter was and had been praying for years to find her. She and her daughter will be released from prison within months of each other and have made a commitment to go to rehab together when they are both out.

This is just one of many heartbreaking stories of how addiction and the criminal justice system impact families across generations. Send your love and encouragement to people impacted by addiction.

An Example Card:

We are partnering with Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles to reach individuals affected by addiction. They work to foster interest in social, economic and environmental conditions and growth of their community and assist in the development of low income housing in Southern California communities.

People in jail or returning from jail:

The U.S. is home to 5 percent of the world’s population. Yet, we are responsible for locking up 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population. Nearly two million people are behind bars in the United States. At a time when highways are crumbling and schoolchildren go without books, America spends $80 billion every year on the incarceration industry – an expense that has a devastating impact on individuals, communities, and society as a whole. Reliance on overly long sentences and tough on crime policies is both morally indefensible and economically unjustifiable. #cut50 works to popularize bipartisan alternatives and practical solutions that can safely and smartly reduce our incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years.

One Man’s Story

Matthew Charles was released from prison in 2016 after 21yrs. He was determined to make his second life count and quickly got a job, started volunteering and reconnected with family. But after a year and a half, he was sent back to prison after the government appealed the Judge’s decision to release Mr. Charles. In December 2018, the First Step Act was signed into law, a sweeping criminal justice reform bill that included a provision to shorten sentences for crack cocaine-related offenses. Mr. Charles’ story helped get the First Step Act passed and the law will help nearly 2700 people like Mr. Charles come home sooner. On January 3, 2019 Mr. Charles came home, one of the first people to be released under the new law. Since leaving prison, Mr. Charles has continued to look for ways to advocate on behalf of those he left behind.

Send your love and encouragement to people still behind bars and to those who have been recently released and are adjusting back to their lives as citizens, family members, and neighbors.

An Example Card:

We are partnering with #Cut50, an initiative of the Dream Corps, to reach people affected by a broken criminal justice system. #Cut50 campaigns are led by people who have been directly impacted by the justice system and want to create change. They bring together unlikely allies—formerly and currently incarcerated individuals, community members, crime survivors, local elected officials, and law enforcement. By recognizing the humanity of those impacted, we can change laws in order to create safer streets and more peaceful neighborhoods.

People who have lost their homes to fire or hurricanes:

2018 was a devastating year for natural disasters. From the Woosley and Camp Fires in California to Hurricanes Michael and Florence – and Maria the year before – many of us have watched with heartache as thousands have lost everything. In losing their homes, people lose both a part of their history and an understanding of their future. The rebuilding will take years, and many are doing it in the face of huge physical, emotional and financial losses.

One Woman’s Story
An Example Card:

We are partnering with Green for All  to reach individuals who have lost their homes due to hurricanes or fires. Green for All works to build an inclusive green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Their goal is to make sure people of color and working families have a place and a voice in the climate movement.

Separated families:

In the spring of 2018, the Trump administration began officially implementing a zero-tolerance policy at the US-Mexico border, arresting people seeking asylum and separating children from their parents and caretakers as they entered the country. In June 2018, the Department of Homeland Security reported that over 2000 children had been separated from their parents or caregivers. In January 2019, the US Dept. of Health and Human Services reported that thousands more children may have been separated. If and when the families are reunited, medical and mental health experts agree the children will suffer lifelong harm from this cruelty.

We believe that the character of a country can be defined by the way it treats the vulnerable, especially children. Even when we oppose the actions of our government, we can still stand as citizens to be a force for love. 

Spanish phrase to include:

Tus sueños importan, tus esperanzas importan, tu importas translates to Your dreams matter, your hopes matter, you matter.

Other good phrases to include are Estas contigo, which means We are with you, and Todos somos hermanos, which means, We are all siblings.

If at all possible, we will work to translate your notes into Spanish.

An Example Card:

We’re partnering with Bay Area Border Relief to reach recently reunited families. They are an organization that that serves and advocates for children and families
seeking their human right to asylum in the U.S.