Help Jodie Rehabilitate Prisoners

$5,487 of $6,500 goal

Raised by 55 people in 29 months

NEW PROGRAMMING for Ridgeland Correctional Institute 
Certified WhyTry Facilitator, Jodie Randisi

Much needed resiliency training for inmates.  

Your support makes it possible for me to continue volunteer programs designed to rehabilitate and prepare prisoners for re-entry into society.

Why is this important and worthy of your support?

We made the news, not once but twice. Here's a clip about Toastmasters Behind Bars:

When it comes to our criminal justice system we can agree on one thing—we all want prisoners to come out better than when they came in.
 We have to decide what kind of neighbors we want—ones with less than a high school education, and on top of that, unaddressed behavior and addiction problems? Or, do we want ones who have taken steps to overcome obstacles, cultivated their character, found their voice and improved their communication skills, all of which makes them more eligible to become a taxpaying contributor to society?
Being incarcerated doesn’t diminish a human being’s value.
That’s why I go to Ridgeland on Wednesdays. Your donation will help support and sustain Toastmasters behind bars as well as keep the Adult Coloring class and prison book club well supplied.

As Treasurer of the club, I pay the inmate’s Toastmasters International membership dues, record educational awards, and obtain resources from TI’s website.  When you donate to sponsor a specific inmate, please note his name. A new member’s cost for 6 months is $65, or $110 for a year. Renewing an existing club member costs is $45 for 6 months or $90 for a year. If your donation is for non-specific, please note that we will make sure your support goes to inmates who cannot pay their dues from their own funds.

"To the sponsors of the Ridgeland Toastmaster club, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to have the opportunity to participate in this club. It has definitely been a life-changing experience." R. B., Secretary, Ridgeland Toastmasters

"I want to thank you all for helping us by sponsoring us here at Ridgeland Toastmasters. This program has helped us so much and in so many ways. I love this class and look forward to joining a club on the outside and continuing my growth." E.B

"Tremendous thanks to the sponsors of my newly developed character and positive personality and personal growth. God bless!" R.H.

Coloring Therapy for the Soul has been a huge success!

I no longer teach the class. The inmates, now dubbed the Coloring Gurus, run the weekly class. Word has spread throughout the dorm— COLORING THERAPY FOR THE SOUL is fun and it works!  

"Since I started this class, I haven’t stopped coloring. I  found that I have had some kind of ability left, but I needed the right person to help me awaken that which was asleep for some time. I can’t wait for my class to come each week because there is more to learn. With the right teacher, one who is willing to pass on her knowledge, much can be accomplished for the benefit of all involved. Ms. Jodie, I thank you for your caring, your kindness, and yes, your great big heart. Because you took the time to make a bunch of men realize that we still have worth. May you be blessed, along with your family, to continue on your mission in bringing joy to those in need. May your palette always be filled with many good memories and your case with many beautiful colors to be put to good use." M.H.

"Ms. Jodie, I enjoy your class. I’ve found that coloring frees my mind of this place.  P.S. I’m color blind."

"When I first signed up for this class, I didn’t know what to expect, but I must say that my expectations were pleasantly exceeded. This class is very calming. It is a great stress reliever. I have learnt an awful lot in a short length of time and would recommend this class to everyone. Ms. Jodie is a great person, donating her time and resources, and that in itself is a wonderful thing. Thanks, Ms. Jodie for all that you do for us here at RCI. I wish you all the best in any and all your endeavors."

Please spread the word.

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NEWSFLASH: Educator in demand at Ridgeland Correctional. Inmates have already signed up for my next class even though I haven't announced it.

Book club will start up again after I receive funds to purchase books. This time we're doing for BEST SELF - Be You Only Better by Life Coach Mike Bayer, endorsed by Dr. Phil. If possible (meaning I depend on donations), I'd like to facilitate this Life Coaching class in two dorms, the character unit as well as another dorm that is patiently waiting for this kind of volunteer-led programming.

If you could only see and hear what I've seen and heard at the prison, you'd be encouraged to know that men are desperate to get information as well as inspiration to change their lives for the better. It's an honor to witness (and record) the results. I come home with prison stories every Wednesday, all of them good. The media takes care of all the bad, which is why my husband and I are throwing around an idea "Jodie on the Inside." A podcast or a reality TV show? HA!

If you donate today, I'll buy the books and get started next week and return my copy of Best Self to the library. If I receive lots of donations, I'll find other volunteers to facilitate this class until every inmate has a chance to experience authentic life coaching.

WHY DONATE? We all benefit when we uncover and reinforce the dignity, strength, and wisdom that individuals innately possess. Not everyone can volunteer at a state prison for convicted male felons, but I can. Help me help them.
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Thank you everyone who contributed and made our District 58 silent auction for Toastmasters prison clubs a huge success! Those who donated as well as those who bid and purchased items. The funds collected will go toward establishing a new club at Camille Correctional Institute in Columbia, at least that is the plan. Any Toastmaster in Columbia who would like to mentor this club, please let me know how I can support or assist you. With only 54 items we were able to raise almost $2,O00. Those funds are much appreciated! Every donation I receive will benefit men who have committed to a program that enhanced their chance for a brighter future.I’m happy to report Ridgeland Toastmasters has added 5 new members, which means another ribbon for our banner, as in WE BEAT THE CLOCK! And we had 5 new guests on Wednesday! The word is out on the yard, Ridgeland Toastmasters is the best place to be on a Wednesday afternoon.
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ANNOUNCING Ridgeland Correctional Prison Book Club's next selection, Tattoos on the Heart, The Power of Boundless Compassion by Gregory "G" Boyle. This book is astonishingly my most favorite book I've ever read! Boyle is the found of Homeboy Industries, which is located between Pico Gardens and Aliso Village in Los Angeles, also known for decades as the gang capital of the world. As a volunteer, I share my life with individuals who are starving for personal development material. When I show up every Wednesday, I'm not telling inmates they are exactly what God had in mind when God made them. I'm showing them.

"A spiritual masterpiece touching the innermost sanctum of the human soul. " "Boyle reminds us all that every single child and youth is a part of God's 'jurisdiction'—and when they know that we are seeing them as God does, they are capable of great things."

Ah-ha! That, friends, is my platform as an author and speaker. It is also exactly why I show up every Wednesday at Ridgeland Correctional Institute to teach, facilitate or participate in various personal development programs.

But I have to ask for financial support as I'm doing this on my own. I found multiple copies of this book online but how do I cover the cost involved in reviving hope behind bars? (My day job as a newly minted realtor is not thriving just yet.) If you can support me, any amount will be appreciated and gratefully received. I intend to purchase 15 books, perhaps more. There will be handouts, a thirsty gas tank and car payments to make, etc.

Help if you can, and then, wait for it...there will be incredible testimonies coming from this book club selection. I'll keep you posted!
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Help me properly celebrate SEVEN WhyTry for Corrections graduates who have completed the requirements for the WhyTry class. Inmates tell how valuable this educational program has been - see the quotes below.

I want to raise $300 to buy supplies for our community service project (a requirement for graduation). Each participant is making a quilted "Pillow Pal" for a child in need. Specifics below, but first, read these testimonies!

"When I first heard of WhyTry, I thought it was some project to keep us occupied or some juvenile course. I thought of not taking the course because I'm legally blind in my right eye and have other medical conditions. I'm also fighting my legal case. "Why try?" I said to myself. Still, I signed up. We started with a video by Kid President giving a Pep Talk, and that's exactly what that video did, gave me and the others a pep talk. Mrs. Randisi kept us engaged and took us step by step through the maze of WhyTry. This course should be written for young and old, in prison or out. I wanted to be selfish and take the course again but if I do, someone else would be deprived of a great learning experience. Through this course, I have increased my confidence and beliefs. Everyone needs a game plan in life, and WhyTry is a good tool to help endure life's difficult hardships." S.A., Inmate, Ridgeland Correctional

"The motivational speaker's videos were awesome! They taught me never to give up. The music videos were entertaining. Continue using the success stories from ex-prisoners. Inmates can relate to them and they really teach great life lessons. Thank you so much!" G.S., Inmate, Ridgeland Correctional

"I tried WhyTry just to see if I would like it, and yes, I did like it because of the many testimonies we viewed through videos and other music videos that speak about how to accomplish goals. Activities made this class interesting and not boring. I have learned how to be a better person, myself and with others. Also, this class showed stories, real stories that touched my heart. Thank you for your time." H. G., Inmate, Ridgeland Correctional

"We have the best teacher and mentor in the WORLD!!! She puts her all into making sure we get the most out of our class. She's done a lot of revising in order to make the class relevant for inmates. I've become a stronger person mentally, socially, and emotionally. I've learned how to deal with being in a mental flood zone and find a silver lining in everything. I learned how to tear off labels people try to put on me. I've learned so much. I wish SCDC could make this class mandatory for all inmates." D. S., Inmate, Ridgeland Correctional

SUPPLIES NEEDED: Cost $300, 12 pillows, cotton fabric transfer sheets, color-stay chemical (synthrapol), cotton batting, printer ink, quilting thread and needles, thimbles, too. Inmates who have taken my Coloring Therapy for the Soul class donated their artwork to be transferred onto fabric for our Pillow Pals. It's a WIN WIN WIN situation! Our graduates are looking forward to the opportunity to do something good for children in need of comfort.

SPREAD the word because this educational programming is changing lives and worth sharing. Thanks ever so much for supporting me. Inmate education doesn't get much positive press.
All kind thoughts, Jodie Randisi
Certified WhyTry trainer
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$5,487 of $6,500 goal

Raised by 55 people in 29 months
Created March 21, 2017
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Monica Blocker
11 hours ago

For Mr. Lewis... Ridgeland

Owens Blocker
11 hours ago

Of Mr. Lewis

Mrs Blocker
1 day ago

For Elbert Blocker

Laura Daniels
8 days ago

Donating for the TLI at Ridgeland correctional institution for the meal at Publics.

Holy City Toastmasters
12 days ago

Holy City Toastmaster's Club member donation

Christine Williams
1 month ago
Tyrone Clement
1 month ago
Barbara Silcox
2 months ago
Karen DePace
2 months ago

Hope this help the awesome work you do.

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