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Help Ron start a new life after 37 yrs in prison

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Ronald McKeithen was imprisoned for nearly four decades for a robbery of a convenience store in which nobody was physically injured and very little money ($450) taken.  He was released in December 2020 at the age of 58.  Ronald is doing everything right: career readiness training, volunteering at a homeless shelter, working with teenagers to prevent them from his fate. He plans to have a job as soon as possible and to get into a formal training program to become a certified nursing assistant.  He is also a talented artist who hopes to someday sell his artwork.  He’s pictured next to some of his art. 

Because he has a felony record, these things will take time.  Meanwhile, Ron has to eat, pay bus fare and soon will need to pay rent. The purpose of this fundraiser is to help tide Ron over financially until he gets that first paycheck. 
Ron has made a huge positive impression on many people since his release.  No donation is too small. 

Some things friends have said about Ron on Facebook:

In his first hours of freedom after 37 years of prison, asked "How can I help?" I continue to be inspired by Ron, who has spent the last 9 weeks volunteering his time and mentoring young men. When people in power say everyone in prison belongs there, please think of Ron. The state of Alabama wanted him to die in prison. Thank God for second chances. Beth Shelburne, journalist and friend.
I have had the privilege of witnessing the most courageous move forward ever.
I have watched this guy who, after 37 years of incarceration, has spent his first 55 days of freedom ambitiously!
It’s been inspiring to see him defy his fears and uncertainties by welcoming the learning experiences of a new day, a day where he can make decisions, and give instead of take.
What the last 55 days has been is “an honor” to work with a team of individuals who have guided, supported and protected this guy from the woes of a vicious society as he inches forward courageously.
I watched him return to a place that exists no more; no home, no mom, no granny, no clue about the new things going on (technology and all).
To a few days later hear him saying, “I appreciate you, but I need a job. It’s nice that you all are looking out, but I want to do for myself.“
Apologizing, humbled and motivated to get life going, he started using his talents to work with our youth, those that he understands need a voice… a positive expression of themselves and what they go through.
He lends his hands to give them a place of freedom and love!
Thank you, Ron, for allowing me to take part in your wonderful journey.
Carla Crowder, attorney and friend.

… and from Ron, himself:
To say that I’ve settled in and found my balance after six weeks would be a lie, even though I feel that I have. But to be honest, I doubt if I ever will. I spent too much time there. Each day was a constant battle to not give in to that prison mentality and become just another lost soul that fades into nothing. If I hadn’t kept my mind active from classes, I might have lost my mind. I did not have the luxury of being unproductive in prison, nor do I have that luxury out here. I’m experiencing a rebirth, a second chance at life, and every day has been a blessing. I fall asleep in anticipation of the next.
Ron will celebrate his 59th Birthday on February 25, 2020. His first birthday in the “free world” in 37 years!  Please help this be the best birthday ever.


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Organizer and beneficiary

Connie Kohler
Birmingham, AL
Ronald McKeithen

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