​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​










Stand Courageously this Week

November 18, 2019

"Standing courageously for an unpopular opinion isn't easy, but the rewards of standing courageously for the truth will last forever."
Rick Warren

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

November 17, 2019

"The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy."
Proverbs 12:22

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: Death Row Memories

November 15, 2019
The news that a vigil was held last night in front of the US Supreme Court building in Washington DC, hoping to delay a Texas execution, brought back memories for Doug. In 2007 he went to death row in Texas, and was there for the execution of a client and friend. Read the latest blog entry
HERE

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

RIP, Governor Bill

November 14, 2019

Michiganders were saddened by the passing of one of the state’s most popular governors recently, William "Bill" Milliken. HFP founder Doug Tjapkes remembers the day that he and the governor sat in the front row of a public hearing together, both hoping to persuade the Parole Board to free a deserving woman. That started a friendship that lasted until the governor’s passing.
Gov. Milliken had a heart for prisoners, and expressed remorse later in life that he didn't grant more commutations during his Governorship. He was so impressed with our work that he gave Doug an undated later to use, when and as often as necessary, to raise financial support. And from that day on, he personally supported HFP. The letter dates back to when Doug was a one-man show, but the words still ring true today: (click HERE for PDF)

I want to tell you of a friend from Grand Haven who is doing such remarkable work with prisoners – many of whom have been unjustly or wrongfully imprisoned – that I am hopefully you may wish to begin giving your support to him and his work. 
His name is Doug Tjapkes. He is a former broadcast journalist and a former small radio station owner. More importantly, he is a fine human being. He is operating a largely volunteer group, HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS. Doug’s efforts have been tireless, and the expenses for him to travel from his home to so man of Michigan’s prisoners, to accompany prisoners on trips before the Parole Board, and to see their freedom if they are fortunate enough to win it, grows steadily. Many of their stories are heart-wrenching and tragic. I and several others have made contributions to assist him in his outstanding efforts. He has worked on wrongful convictions, paroles and commutations, medical care, and their specialized needs and, hopefully, re-entry into society. 
Doug’s involvement has grown because the need so outweighs the resources to finance the project. The financial need is becoming greater all the time, and I am please to report this to you, as it means that the word of his work is being better known and the need for assistance even greater.
I am confident that any financial assistance you might feel you wish to give would help enormously in the good work he is doing.
I would be most grateful to you for your consideration.

William G. Milliken

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

​Alex Kotlowitz's thoughts on HFP
November 13, 2019

Well-known Chicago author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz first met Doug back in the 1990s, as he fought for Maurice Carter’s freedom. Recently Alex visited Grand Haven to relive some of those memories and to participate in an HFP-sponsored community event. We hope to post a video of his entire speech on our web site, but for now, please take 4-minutes to hear what Alex had to say about Humanity for Prisoners: https://youtu.be/bmI224egrdo

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Recognizing Veterans this week

November 11, 2019
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy

Happy Birthday: We wish HFP founder Doug Tjapkes a happy 83rd birthday today!  

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

November 10, 2019

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."
Psalm 46:1

HFP Blog:  For gay and transgender people, things aren’t easy in society. And it gets much worse in prison. We’re here for them. See Doug’s comments HERE.    

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Speak up this week

November 4, 2019

"You are not only responsible for what you say, but also for what you do not say."
Martin Luther

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

November 3, 2019

"For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift."
Ephesians 2:8  

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

​HFP Blog: It can happen to you!

November 1, 2019
It’s something that always happens to the other guy: wrongful convictions. Wrong! See Doug’s comments this morning on the HFP blog
HERE

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Prisoner Awareness Day this Sunday
October 30, 2019

Sunday, November 3, has been designated Prisoner Awareness Day at Ferrysburg Community Church, 17785 Mohawk Drive, Spring Lake. Dr. John Rottman of Calvin Seminary will be guest speaker at the Adult Education Class, beginning at 9:15, to discuss the Calvin Prison Initiative program. Dr. Rottman, also a board member of HFP, will be the guest preacher for the 10:30 worship service. HFP founder Doug Tjapkes will be introducing a parolee who is free today thanks to HFP efforts. Everyone invited. And please consider a similar event in YOUR church. We’ll help!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tell the truth this week

October 28, 2019

"He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.."
Thomas Jefferson

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

October 27, 2019

"But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?"
I John 3:17

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: Honoring Maurice

October 25, 2019
It was just 15 years ago that we said goodbye to Maurice Carter. We think he’d be pleased with today’s version of his dream! See Doug's latest blog
HERE
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sweet Freedom Legacy Circle
October 23, 2019

Last Thursday at the Alex Kotlowitz event, HFP's Chairman of the Board of Directors, Russ Bloem, introduced the Sweet Freedom Legacy Circle. This project is established to acknowledge and thank those friends and supporters who have committed to carrying forward the Humanity for Prisoners mission through their planned gifts and to encourage and inspire others to do the same. The details:

Ensuring the future
With compassion for Michigan’s imprisoned, Humanity for Prisoners provides, promotes and ensures—with strategic partnerships— personalized, problem-solving services for incarcerated persons in order to alleviate suffering beyond the just administration of their sentences.
The Sweet Freedom Legacy Circle was established in 2019 to acknowledge and thank those friends and supporters who have committed to carrying forward the Humanity for Prisoners mission through their planned gifts and to encourage and inspire others to do the same.

Honoring the founders
Doug Tjapkes formed the organization in 2001 based on a dream of his best friend, Maurice Carter, who had been behind bars for 29 years for a crime he did not commit. It was Maurice’s goal to convert this negative into a positive and serve as an advocate for all prisoners with special needs. The two of them planned to work together upon his release from prison.  While Maurice passed away soon after his release, Doug met this challenge and founded HFP.
Doug authored a book telling of his ten-year relationship with Maurice and their epic battle for justice entitled, Sweet Freedom.

Providing benefits
As a member of the Sweet Freedom Legacy Circle you will receive:
•    an autographed copy of Sweet Freedom
•    recognition in our newsletter and on our website (optional)
•    VIP invitations to all HFP events, including an annual membership celebration

Here is how you join!
•    Arrange for a gift
•    Notify us of your plans by completing and returning the form HERE
•    We will follow up to confirm your intentions.

… or request more information by contacting the Humanity for Prisoners office at 
    616-935-0075 or info@humanityforprisoners.org.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Turn toward the good this week
October 21, 2019

“To individuals and to nations both, Jesus says the same thing. Turn away from madness, cruelty, shallowness, blindness. Turn toward that tolerance, compassion, sanity, hope, justice that we all have in us at our best."
Frederick Buechner

HFP Blog: Redemption - A word we like to hear on Sunday, but not very much on Monday! Doug standing up once again for the “little guy.” Read HERE
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Sunday Verse

October 20, 2019

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

What a night!

October 18, 2019
Guests packed the room at St. Patrick's Church in Grand Haven last night to welcome author Alex Kotlowitz

to West Michigan. Alex spoke about sharing the stories of those forgotten by society, and the lessons he's

learned along the way.
In addition, HFP made two major announcements. We introduced the Sweet Freedom Legacy Circle, a

planned giving program that will help ensure the work of HFP continues on for years to come. Also,

long-time supporters Peter and Judy VanderArk were honored with the Maurice H. Carter Humanitarian

Award given to our volunteers of the year! 
We thank everyone who came out to this special evening! A special thanks also to our friend Bill Klouw for

taking the pictures from the night's events.

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

See you tonight!

October 17, 2019
It's our biggest event of the year, and everyone here at Humanity for Prisoners invites you to join us as we welcome Alex Kotlowitz to town. The doors open at 6:30 at St. Patrick-St.Anthony Parish on the corner of Fulton and US 31 in Grand Haven, with the event starting at 7.
Says Alex: "There's something exhilarating about telling stories that haven't been shared before and haven't been told publicly before. The last thing I want to be doing is telling stories other people have already told."
Come hear the stories tonight. If you don't have a ticket, they will be available at the door. We look forward to seeing you there! 

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Forgive this week

October 14, 2019

“In a nation that likes to see itself as forgiving, we are mulishly unforgiving of those who have committed a felony...”
― Alex Kotlowitz

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

October 13, 2019

"Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends."
Proverbs 17:9

HFP Blog:  HFP client Joe Johnson’s Public Hearing before the Michigan Parole Board went quite well Thursday. Doug, Matt and Holly were there to support him. At the end, though, the Assistant Attorney General tried to rain on the parade. Read Doug comments 
HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

​Innocence Project Leader Added to HFP Board

October 9. 2019
Marla Mitchell-Cichon, Director of the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project in Lansing, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Humanity for Prisoners Board of Directors. The announcement was made today by board chairman Russ Bloem. 

Professor Mitchell-Cichon began her teaching career in 1986 at the University of Akron, and joined WMU-Cooley Law School in

July 1995. 

The WMU-Cooley Innocence Project is one of two such projects in the state. It works to free innocent Michigan prisoners through

the use of DNA testing. In 2006, Professor Mitchell-Cichon received the Justice for All Award from the Criminal Defense Attorneys

of Michigan (CDAM) and in 2014 the WMU-Cooley Innocence Project received the Outstanding Community Contribution award from the WMU-Cooley Student Bar Association.

Professor Mitchell-Cichon works closely with the Access to Justice Clinic (Grand Rapids campus), a clinic she helped to develop. She has extensive practice experience in criminal and poverty law. Her litigation experience includes cases before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, the Ohio Supreme Court, the Michigan Supreme Court and trial and appellate courts in both Ohio and Michigan. She also works on legislative reform to improve the criminal justice system.

“It’s interesting to note,” said Bloem, “that HFP’s roots are in a wrongful conviction. It was our founder, Doug Tjapkes’ work to free Maurice Carter, an innocent Michigan prisoner, that led to the establishment of this organization. With Marla’s expertise and experience, her input to our board and our daily operations will be exceptional.”

Humanity for Prisoners is a prisoner advocacy agency based in Spring Lake.

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Let go this week

October 7, 2019
"Learn this from me. Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We think that hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to ourselves."     
Mitch Albom   

HFP Blog: The Maurice Carter story was told in a new and exciting venue over the weekend! Read Doug’s comments this morning HERE.  

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

October

"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."
Ecclesiastes 7:9 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Play about HFP founders goes to Atlanta!

October 2, 2019
Today is International Wrongful Conviction Day. In conjunction with that, we are pleased to announce that a staged reading of the play JUSTICE FOR MAURICE HENRY CARTER will be presented in Atlanta this week.

The performance is part of the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival’s Staged Reading Series. The play, by Canadians Donald Molnar and Alicia Payne, is based on the true story of the enduring friendship between the wrongly convicted Maurice Carter who spent 29 years in prison, and his friend Doug Tjapkes, of Spring Lake. 

The playwrights are from Toronto, and the host of the performance in is Nadia Theodor, the Consul General of Canada in Atlanta.

Doug is the founder of Humanity for Prisoners, a prisoner advocacy agency based in Spring Lake. He will be an honored guest at the performance in Atlanta, and will participate in an audience feed-back following the presentation.

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP sets new record!

October 1, 2019
The month of September brought a record number of requests for assistance to the Humanity for Prisoners office. A total of 990 requests came in, breaking the previous record (set in August) of 949. Before August, the most requests HFP had ever received in a month was 710. 
"I think it's safe to say the secret is out," HFP President Matt Tjapkes said. "It's a continued testament to the work we're doing, including all the help from staff and our expert panel of volunteers."
HFP is also just 30 requests away from setting a new mark for most contacts in a year. We thank all of you for your continued support as we touch a record number of lives each month!

HFP Blog: One of the nation’s finest athletes has taken a year off to help a wrongly convicted friend. A major story on network news these days. Friends of HFP are drawing parallels between that story and the Maurice Carter/Doug Tjapkes saga. As we approach International Wrongful Conviction Day, Doug shares his thoughts HERE. 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Starting "Wrongful Conviction Day" week

September 30, 2019
International Wrongful Conviction Day arrives this week Wednesday, October 2. Says Bryan Stevenson, author of JUST MERCY:
"I don't think there's been a time in American history with more innocent people in prison."

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

September 29, 2019

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Ephesians 4:29

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: Whistleblowers

September 27, 2019

A lot of discussion these days about whistleblowers. Doug says we would do well to listen. Read today's entry HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Start your legacy this week

September 16, 2019
“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”
― Kalu Ndukwe Kalu

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

September 15, 2019

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." 
Philippians 4:6 6

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

​Alex Kotlowitz Tickets on Sale!

September 11, 2019
Humanity for Prisoners is thrilled to welcome best-selling author Alex Kotlowitz to West Michigan to raise awareness of issues within our criminal justice system and to highlight the important work of our organization. Kotlowtiz's appearance will be Thursday, October 17 at 7 p.m. at Lakeshore Middle School, 900 Cutler St. Grand Haven.
Kotlowitz, author of "There Are No Children Here," "The Other Side of the River," "Never a City So Real," and "American Summer," was a friend of the late Maurice Carter, and readily accepted HFP’s invitation! He has a personal interest in prisons. In 2016 he worked with inmates of Illinois’ Stateville Prison writing essays about their lives in cells, now featured in the podcast "Written Inside."
If you are interested in being a sponsor for the event, including having dinner with Alex beforehand, you can find details on sponsorship HERE. Tickets for the event are $25 in advance, $15 for students and $30 at the door. Tickets are available at The Bookman in Grand Haven (715 Washington Ave.) or online HERE.
We are excited to work with The Bookman to provide this exciting and important community event. We look forward to seeing you there!
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stand in awe this week

September 9, 2019
“What we need in the world is a compassion that stands in awe at the burdens the poor have to carry rather than stand in judgment at the way they carry them."
Fr Greg Boyle

HFP Blog: For those who did not see the two Lester Holt specials on mass incarceration over the weekend, please take the time to watch both programs. Of particular importance was the Sunday night town-forum at Sing Sing Prison on MSNBC. Then, related to what Holt describes as “An American Crisis,” we suggest you read our weekend entry HERE.    

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

September 8, 2019

“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats ; do not be frightened.”
I Peter 3:14

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A profile of HFP at work, all within one week!

September 6, 2019
HFP Client Eddie: "I have a friend named Bob. He has terminal cancer and could use a visit if at all possible. He used to be my bunkie. It appears to me that he is going downhill rather rapidly. He could use a ray of light, and let’s face it. That is what you are!"

HFP Medical Director, Dr. Bob Bulten: "I've penciled him in for a visit tomorrow afternoon." 

Dr Bulten the next day: "I had a wonderful visit with Bob this afternoon.  He was told 2 weeks ago that he has CA of the lung, liver, and gall bladder, that there is no treatment for that.  He teared up a few times as he told me, but he’s not bitter and relies on his faith to get him through this."

New HFP client Bob: "I had a couple of hours with Dr. Bob and after 15 minutes it seemed I had known him forever. To say I am devastated is an understatement. I have been ready to meet my maker and have been for years but when you are smacked in the face with this type of news it still rocks ya. I once again thank all of you at Humanity for Prisoners. You all have lifted my spirits at a time that they were really low."

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP President, Medical Director to Speak in Spring Lake

September 4, 2019
Humanity for Prisoners President Matt Tjapkes will be joined by volunteer Medical Director Dr. Robert Bulten for a special presentation Spring Lake District Library on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7:00 pm.
The presentation will start with an introduction to HFP, including a brief video, before the topic turns to health care in the Michigan Department of Corrections. Tjapkes and Bulten will also be joined by a former client of Humanity for Prisoners who struggled with health care before receiving assistance from HFP. The presentation will conclude with a Q&A session with attendees. 
Humanity for Prisoners, with offices in Spring Lake, is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization that works one-on-one with inmates in the MDOC to help them resolve non-legal matters they face while incarcerated. HFP has worked with over 3,000 inmates in the MDOC and this year alone has handled over 5,800 requests for assistance. 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Uplift Humanity this Labor Day Week

September 2, 2019

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity."
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

September 1, 2019

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters."
Colossians 3:23

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP turns 18!

August 29, 2019
Former Grand Haven broadcaster Doug Tjapkes and his former corporate attorney John Carlyle sat down in 2001 to develop an agency that might be able to help prisoners. Today we celebrate the formation of what is now known as Humanity for Prisoners! Read more HERE

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: Some thoughts on those who have no one to pray for them

August 27, 2019
The singing group founded by Doug 47 years ago sang its last song Sunday. But there’s a link between the work of HIS MEN and HFP. See today’s blog entry HERE. 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do what you think you can't this week

August 26, 2019
“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face...we must do that which we think we cannot."  
–Eleanor Roosevelt

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

August 25, 2019
"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
Isaiah 40:31

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Find your place this week

August 19, 2019
"The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's hunger meet."
― Frederick Buechner

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

August 18, 2019
"He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth."
Job 5:15-16 

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP receives financial support from prisoners!

August 14, 2019
Humanity for Pirsoners has received a $2,000 grant from the Prisoner Benefit Fund of G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in Jackson! Prisoner Benefit Funds (PBFs) may be used to fund services, equipment, and supplies which have a direct benefit to prisoners. Each Michigan prison has its own PBF, administered by a special committee made up of prisoner representatives and staff members. Much of the money in the fund comes from prison store sales and prison vending machines.
“In that committees generally allocate these funds toward purchases of items such as recreational equipment and microwave ovens, we consider a contribution from a PBF as the ultimate compliment for services we provide,” said HFP President Matt Tjapkes.

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Build this week

August 12, 2019
"Great anger and violence can never build a nation."
Nelson Mandela

HFP Blog: Will the Epstein death behind bars focus attention on a bigger problem? We hope so, but don’t bet on it! See Doug’s post today HERE.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

August 11, 2019

"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God."
James 1:19-20

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog

August 9, 2019

Two Michigan prisoners have made a difference, in a big way! Check out Doug’s blog HERE.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

A profile of HFP assistance

August 7, 2019
Client's wife contacts HFP
“Jeff has a growth on the top of his right ear. It has grown in size substantially over the last 6 months and I worry that it could be something serious.”

Same day response from HFP Medical Director:
“It probably is a broken blood vessel.  I doubt that it is anything serious.”

Two days later, Dr. Bob makes a personal visit to the client:
“Stopped in to see Jeff. The thing on his ear is most likely a cyst. I reassured him, and Health Care is actually following it.”  
 
Four days later, from client's wife:
“Jeff and I are so grateful that Dr Bob came out to check Jeff's ear and visit with him. Dr Bob also got Jeff a burger and drink which was an extra treat. We are relieved that it is nothing more serious. Thank you so much to you and Dr Bob for getting Jeff checked out and giving us some relief."

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: Talk or action?
August 6, 2019

Whether it’s prisoner issues or mass shootings, there’s always a lot of talk, seldom a lot of action. See Doug’s comments HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Show civility this week
August 5, 2019

"Civility is not not saying negative or harsh things. It is not the absence of critical analysis. It is the manner in which we are sharing this territorial freedom of political discussion. If our discourse is yelled and screamed and interrupted and patronized, that's uncivil."
Richard Dreyfuss

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

August 4, 2019

"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor."
Romans 12:9-10

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: David vs. Goliath

August 2, 2019
Several years ago, HFP worked with a group of Prisoner Observer Aides at Huron Valley who were witnessing serious abuse of mentally ill prisoners. Thanks to the efforts of these courageous women, led by inmate Sharee Miller, the U.S. Department of Justice eventually came to Ypsilanti to investigate these problems. The downside was that Sharee lost her job as a POA over this. The Department was not pleased. Today’s entry on our blog site tells of her recent victory to not only get her job back, but to allow observers to tell others about the bad things they witness. We invite you, first, to read Paul Egan’s fine reporting of this story:
https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/07/26/sharee-miller-prison-abuse-lawsuit-michigan/1775745001/

Then we suggest you to read our blog entry, loosely based on the David and Goliath story of I Timothy 17:
https://humanityforprisoners.blogspot.com/2019/08/a-modern-day-david-takes-on-goliath.html

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: Time for FOIA law change!

July 31, 2019
Day after day, week after week, HFP does its best to help prisoners retrieve important files that are available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. Why? Because Michigan won’t let inmates do it on their own! HERE is our blog entry today, and it won’t be our last! 

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Michigan PB gets a C-

July 30, 2019
The MDOC’s parole process ranked slightly worse than average in a nationwide comparison. The research was done by Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants (CURE). CURE gave grades to all states that have parole based on 18 different factors…crime-reducing policies that CURE felt that parole decisions should be based on. Michigan’s parole process received a C-. Said CURE:The “nature of the crime” or “seriousness of the offense” should not be the reason for parole denial.

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Live this week with love and kindness

July 29, 2019
“Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.”

– Barbara De Angelis

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

July 28, 2019
"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves."
Philippians 2:3
 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Founders play to be performed

July 26, 2019
The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival has scheduled a stage reading for JUSTICE FOR MAURICE HENRY CARTER.

 That exciting news comes to us from Donald Molnar and Alicia Payne, award-winning playwrights who penned

the story of HFP founders Maurice Carter and Doug Tjapkes. We’re told that the stage presentation is scheduled

for Friday, October 4, at 3 PM in Atlanta’s Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center. For those who will be in the

area at that time, tickets are $7.50, and hotel discounts are available for festival participants. HFP client DJ

Montney created the artwork for the striking postcard announcement.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

July 24th - An important day to HFP!
​July 24, 2019
July 24th is a special day here at HFP. Founder Doug Tjapkes shares his thoughts in today's blog 
HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Starting the Week with Kindness

July 22, 2019
"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough." 
Franklin D. Roosevelt

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

July 21, 2019
"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:9 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Start the Week with Courage

July 15, 2019

“True courage is cool and calm. The bravest of men have the least of a brutal, bullying insolence, and in the very time of danger are found the most serene and free.”
Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

July 14, 2019

"For whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it."
1 Peter 3:10-11

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
HFP Blog: What kind of gospel is that?

July 12, 2019
So, where should the church be In all of these social controversies? Should the church take a stand, or should the church stay out of it? Read Doug’s thoughts in today’s blog entry
HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

330 Lives Touched by You!

July 10, 2019
The first half of 2019 saw HFP break records again for the number clients served. HFP's Client Services Specialist Susie Greenbauer reports that through June 30, HFP has helped 330 new clients this year, in addition to the 2,000+ on our active list. In February, HFP set a new monthly record with 710 requests for assistance.
Your support is making a difference in these lives! Clients are getting medical assistance, much-needed legal documents, connecting with lost friends and family and much more, all thanks to your partnership with HFP. 

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: Black & White = Red?

July 9, 2019

Did a weekend TV interview with Bryan Stevenson stir your emotions? Read how it affected Doug HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Starting the Week with Humility

July 8, 2019
"I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility."
John Ruskin 

HFP Blog: How much money did you spend on your 4th of July picnic? Let’s compare that with how much the State of Michigan spends on 3 meals a day for our prisoners HERE.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

July 7, 2019

"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3-4

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Happy Independence Day from HFP

July 4, 2019
“God did not burden the United States with a diversity of backgrounds, ideals and religions, he BLESSED America with them… and we in our diversity and differences are all in this together.”
~ Rep. Emanuel Cleaver   

HFP Blog: No opinions on this Fourth of July…just some ideas for serious thinking!  Read the latest entry HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Show allegiance this week

July 1, 2019
“Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance.  It is also owed to justice and to humanity.  Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong."
~James Bryce

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

June 30, 2019
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10 

HFP Blog: When non-religious organizations do work that is Christ-like. Some thoughts from HFP founder Doug Tjapkes HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

NLA rally this fall

June 28, 2019
The National Lifers of America, Inc., in conjunction with other organizations, is sponsoring a Rally for Lifer Law, Prison and Criminal justice Reform at the State Capitol on Thursday October 10, 2019, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
The Michigan the prison system is undergirded by a thirty-year era of get tough on crime and offenders policies that have fostered high recidivism rates, overcrowded prisons, and a 2 billion annual corrections budget. Now is the time for Michigan citizens to let their voices be heard. We can make changes and there is power in numbers. So please come join us as we share with lawmakers sensible and safe solutions to prison and criminal justice reform. 
A decent and free society, founded in respect for the individual, ought not run a prison system with a sign at the entrance for inmates saying, "Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter Here."
If you would like to register to participate in the Rally, want to volunteer, make a donation, or be a speaker at the rally, please call 586-741-1918. 
Donations cane be made to:
F.I.N.D., Inc. c/o NLA Rally
P.0. Box 37872, Oak Park, MI 48235
(Mon-Sat 313-518-7876);
OR
Pure Word Community Development, c/o NLA Rally
20011 Grand River, Detroit, MI 48219
Bus and/or Van Seating is Limited. Please call for seat reservations before September 9, 2019.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Starting the Week with Mark Hatfield
June 24, 2019
“We stand by as children starve by the millions because we lack the will to end hunger. But we have found the will to develop missiles capable of flying over the polar cap and landing within a few hundred feet of their target. This is not innovation. It is a profound distortion of humanity’s purpose on earth.”
~ Senator Mark Hatfield

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

June 23, 2019

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
Matthew 5:9

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog on False Confessions

June 21, 2019
The President’s stance on false confessions isn’t helping our cause, says Doug. Read the latest blog entry
HERE

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Stand tall this week

June 17, 2019

"No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child."
- Abraham Lincoln

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Father's Day Verse

June 16, 2019

"The righteous man walks with integrity; blessed are his children after him."
Proverbs 20:7

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Be kind​

June 10, 2019

​"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

June 9, 2019

"Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
2 Corinthians 9:7

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: "Jesus hovers above your door"

June 7, 2019
Our good friend Mitch Mackay, elderly and ailing, was unable to make the trip downstate from Each Jordan this week. But he had this to say about our open house event: "I have already been there in my mind’s eye, stood in awe at the transfiguration, the compassion, the instilling of empathy for all regardless cost and funding.  Jesus hovers above your door." 
And that led to our newest post
HERE

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thanks for visiting!

June 6, 2019
Humanity for Prisoners welcomed dozens of guests to our new office over the last two days, and we want to say

thank you for all who were able to make it out! It was a wonderful opportunity for us to share not only the new

office, but to give our supporters an idea of where the organization is headed and what everyone can do to help

us get there!  
If you were unable to make the event but still want to check out the office some time, just email Matt at

matt@humanityforprisoners.org or give us a call, we'll be happy to give out a personal tour!
Our special thanks to Bill Klouw for taking some pictures for us as well, including the picture above. Watch our

Facebook page for more pictures in the days to come. 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP Blog: Welcome!

June 4, 2019
We welcome you to our new digs, and love to tell our story! See Doug’s blog today
HERE.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Recognize Humanity this Week
June 3, 2019
"All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others."
-Desmond Tutu

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

June 2, 2019

"Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."
Psalm 23:4

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

HFP helps prisoners “give back”

May 29, 2019
Humanity for Prisoners has received a special “thank you” from a group of prisoners at the Macomb Correctional Facility in New Haven. A delightful assortment of crocheted stuffed animals arrived from members of the Teddy Bear Project.
Ellen Pach, sponsor of the project, said that gift was to especially thank HFP Board Member Judy

VanderArk, and her husband Pete, who have coordinated our yarn project for years. They work with

volunteers to collect unused spools of yarn from a carpet factory, and then see that it gets delivered

to various state prisons. Thousands of pounds of yarn, valued at thousands of dollars, have been

delivered to prison hobby-craft programs over the years.
Said Ms. Pach: “We currently have approximately 15 prisoners who sew and crochet every Thursday

afternoon. We create children’s blankets & quilts, hats & scarves, and stuffed animals. The items are

then delivered to many organizations such as: Detroit Rescue Mission, Beaumont Hospital, Turning

Point Shelter, Children’s Hospital, first responders, and a camp for children affected by AIDS. Our men take great pride in their work and are very grateful to be able to ‘give back.’”
Ms. Pach said the program continues thanks to donations like that of HFP.

HFP Blog: Governor Whitmer recently signed a series of bills that will help elderly and ailing prisoners get a parole. Did HFP have anything to do with that? Some think so. See today’s post HERE

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Starting the Week with Gratitude

May 27, 2019
"Ceremonies are important. But our gratitude has to be more than visits to the troops, and once-a-year Memorial Day ceremonies. We honor the dead best by treating the living well."
Jennifer M. Granholm

HFP Blog: There are more than 2,200 military veterans in the Michigan prison system. HFP pays tribute to those vets today, as well as the MDOC. Read the latest entry HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

May 26, 2019
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

​Open House June 5th

May 15, 2019
Humanity for Prisoners welcomes everyone to come check out our new office on Wednesday, June 5th, from 5 to 7 p.m. Our office is located at 14998 Cleveland St., Unit D, in Spring Lake.
This Open House is for anyone and everyone who is interested in the work of HFP. We'll have refreshments, and you'll have a chance to meet the staff and tour our new work space. 
Please mark  your calendars! We look forward to seeing you there.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thanking Mom this week

May 13, 2019

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."
Abraham Lincoln

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

May 12, 2019

Mother's Day Verse
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Galatians 5:22-23  

HFP Blog: Mother’s Day isn’t the happiest day behind bars. See today’s blog HERE

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Blessing the new building!

May 10, 2019
At a recent dedication of our new office building, the Board of Directors offered this prayer: 

God of the forgotten, we pray that you will make this a space where people are remembered.

God of hope, we pray that you will make this space a light for those waiting in the darkness of

despair. God of justice, make this space a reservoir of restoration for those who have been

wrongly convicted.
God of power and might, protect those who labor here for justice. Encourage them in the face

of indifference and injustice. Remind them that even when the wrong seems oft so strong, you

are the ruler yet.
We dedicate this space to the coming of your perfect kingdom. We commit this space toward

the day when justice rolls on like a river, and righteousness like a never-failing stream. May

compassion flow from this space into every prison cell, into the heart of every prisoner and

prison staff member.
Come and fill this space for your glory and for the restoration of your world. Bring provision, wisdom, courage, energy, and love, which binds them all together perfectly.
We pray this in the name of the one who was wrongly convicted and yet conquered injustice.
Amen


Our thanks to Rev. Nate Visker of Ferrysburg Community Church, who wrote this prayer!

​___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Do something this week

May 6, 2019

Do something this week
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”
– Mark Twain

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sunday Verse

May 5, 2019

​Sunday Verse
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." 
Isaiah 41:10  

HFP Blog: Joe wasn’t happy with us, but even then, we’ll be here for him! Read the latest entry HERE

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

​​

For More HFP news, visit our Facebook news feed by clicking HERE​​