I was invited by Defy Ventures to participate in a "business coaching weekend" at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California. Pelican Bay is California's "Supermax" facility and is known for housing the "worst of the worst" and the "most violent prison in America."
To me, it is known very differently. It is my spiritual home. It shines full of love, compassion and intense spiritual energy and without any doubt, has led me to the greatest personal development and evolution I have ever experienced. What transpires on these coaching weekends is more powerful and more real than anything else I've ever experienced.
I have likely already asked you (directly or indirectly via many social media posts) to join me one weekend. But today, I am asking you for something much easier to give: your money.
Your donation while not tax-deductible will go to a graduation ceremony this December which will involve a full "cap and gown" graduation that for many men will represent their first graduation ceremony. In addition to the ceremony itself, you are also helping fund a family bus of 50 family members that will travel from Southern California all the way to Crescent City. The physical isolation of the facility makes traveling to the facility practically inaccessible for many families.
For many families, seeing their son or loved one graduate, is an incredibly important step in the family's journey in supporting the new life that each of these men are undertaking.
In July, I visited the third class at their mid-way point to graduation (which will happen this December). The third class is supported by graduates of both the first and second classes (our Peer Facilitators) and this third class is STRONG. I made a commitment to fund or fundraise $10,000 as part of our $70,000 budget for this ceremony. I am happy to provide both a detailed budget and a post-graduation accounting from our Treasurer.
This December will likely mark the last volunteer coaching weekend of it's kind and likely the closing of the first chapter of my commitment of service at Pelican Bay. Due to a number of challenges that the organizing non-profit that started this program faced, Defy Ventures couldn't continue to fund the operating costs of delivering the program at Pelican Bay. As a result of that, a small number of hard-core volunteers banded together under the "Pelican Bay Volunteer Alliance" (a corporation), to cover the costs out of our own pockets.
I have made a life-long commitment of service to the men I've met at Pelican Bay. For as long as I'm allowed into America and for as long as I'm allowed into the facility, I will find ways to be of service. Many of you know me to be an incredible optimist. This is certainly true. But what I have seen and witnessed is powerful transformation, the likes of which is evangelized by all forms of organized religion. This IS my religion. Real work with real people that powerfully opens up the hearts of men long since believed shut off from the light.
This is where the light shines brightest. Some of you have heard me say that if there were an alien species that could see spiritual energy the way we see light, they would see Pelican Bay State Prison as one of the brightest places on this earth.
Other than raising my children, I believe the work I have done at Pelican Bay to be the most important work I've done in my life. It has given me more gifts of new friendship, new family and new personal development that at this age didn't even think possible.
Please give what you can. Whatever the balance of my goal, we will fund ourselves.
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