300 Letters-Post Incarceration Healing

Hello Everyone! 

We wanted to share our story in hopes that we could start a community that will build the strength and confidence of people that have felt like us; humans that have been torn apart and left alone to pick it all up. Legend and I were incarcerated together about 4 years ago. Two young people in love, doing the best that we could with the cards we were dealt.  Always side by side,  growing together, progressing together. We eventually made some bad decisions that made everything come crashing down on us. I was sentenced to 24 months in a federal prison with 2 years of probation while Legend was sentenced to 47 months in a federal prison with 3 years of probation. I could not understand how myself, a FIRST-time offender with a 6 year old son, was not even given ONE chance. I had never gotten into any type of trouble in my life. We were forced to leave our oldest son Dorian behind with Legend's mom while he was suffering the loss of his biological father that had just passed one month prior to my surrender date. There was no other option but prison and no consideration towards our situation. A couple weeks into custody we find out we were expecting a baby. We were both so stressed, so overwhelmed but expecting a 2nd baby gave us the happiness that we needed to push through. Our family was split but expanding. We had to ensure we stuck together, share our stories, emotions, fears and adaptation to our new environment through the letters we would write. Prison took a toll on our mental stability. Dorian was away from his parents for the first time in his life. Legend had to meet our newborn, Legend Jr., at 3 months old in a federal visitation room. Being labeled a felon tore us down but the trials we faced taught us that there was something we had to do about it. We didn’t know how we were going to face our children, society, or the future. I remember returning home and feeling nothing but shame and loneliness. We had missed crucial years that we could never get back in our childrens' lives. Dorian was approaching 9 years old and had become so much more serious. Legend Jr. had been away from his mother for 3 months and I was so afraid that our bond had faded away. There is a huge problem with the criminal justice system if they don’t see the damage being done to a child with no parental love or support. There is a huge problem if the way to make someone pay for a mistake is by out casting them and spending thousands of dollars on a system that doesn’t repair but instead breaks our spirits. Children of incarcerated parents are 6X more likely to end up in the justice system. These children suffer mental traumas, social stigma and lose trust in their parents.
We returned home to the pressure of getting right back into the rat race except this time we had a cloud of guilt hanging over our heads. We were never offered a space to speak about our traumas and find a way to make it right with our kids and the ones who supported us. In the end, it was the love that we had for one another and our family that got us through the hardest time in our lives. Unfortunately, not all families are that lucky but our mission is to help change that.

Legend and I have been healing together and thinking of ways to strengthen our communities; we came up with 300Letters. 300 Letters will STRENGTHEN family bonds and prevent generational incarceration by serving as a network for family-focused resources and services. This organization will focus on humans that have learned from their past and want to create a fulfilling life with their loved ones. 300 Letters will HEAL families with Emotionally Focused Family Therapy once families are reunited . We have a belief that the strongest way to make change in the world is by starting at home, creating unshakeable bonds and foundations to grow upon. 

300 Letters needs your help to Start Up this community and give the families the healing they deserve. We need to raise $85,000 to help 20 families in 2021. These funds will go towards 300 Letters, Family Based Therapy and our Child Care Assistance Program to lessen financial stress of the families aiming to move FORWARD. We can’t wait to BRING HEARTS TOGETHER.

 

We are so appreciative and grateful for everyone joining us on this journey.
  • Andrea Miller 
    • $100 
    • 13 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $32 
    • 16 mos
  • Deandra Tarver 
    • $100 
    • 20 mos
  • Monica Vazquez  
    • $30 
    • 20 mos
  • Johnathan Wakefield 
    • $300 
    • 20 mos
See all

Fundraising team (2)

Amanda Santiago 
Organizer
Raised $1.195 from 12 donations
Miami, FL
Legend Tarver 
Team member
Raised $830 from 6 donations

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