"Breaking the bondage of a dull existence" at Returning Hearts. Hear how one formerly incarcerated volunteer willingly chose to return to prison to serve.
My experience as a volunteer at the Returning Hearts Celebration was unforgettable, but also unique. You see, I myself have been both incarcerated and experienced the love and grace that HeartBound Ministries extends so compassionately to the men and women in prison. So, I can testify to the profound and positive difference their efforts make in both an individual’s heart and circumstance. Now, as a volunteer, to see this transpire in others was an amazing, heartfelt occasion. The best way to describe the day-to-day life in prison is utterly monotonous. Every day passes by with the same tedious schedule, followed through in the same dull clothing, locked in the same drab four walls, while eating the same boring food every week with only the other inmates and officers present (no family, friends, or human contact at all). Incarcerated individuals have lost the privilege of choices, privacy, vanity, and in many ways even dignity. All of these factors more often than not result in deep depression and hopelessness. However, the classes, events, and other efforts that HeartBound extends to those serving time combined with the true excitement and compassion with which they work holds the power to break the bondage of such a dull existence and offer hope. This is exactly what I saw unfold at the Returning Hearts Celebration. From the moment I entered the gym on Friday evening until the event was over on Saturday, it was obvious how the affair so effectively invoked passion, gratitude, excitement, and hope into the men and children participating. The opportunity to see, touch, and have fun with the children they have missed for so much meant a great deal to those involved. What I saw in both the men and the children alike was a rebirth of hope and a renewed strength to continue and persevere! I am positive the restoration that occurred and the precious memories gained will be engrained in these men and their families forever. I know from my own experience, being touched in such a way inevitably softens hearts and works positive change in one’s perspective. It was wonderful to be blessed with the opportunity to participate and to witness something so powerful. I can’t wait to volunteer again!