Christmas can be a sad and lonely time for those behind bars, but we can provide a hope-filled reminder that God is for them. Hope Packs remind them of the Hope of Christmas, help break the boredom of being behind bars, share uplifting stories, and provide delicious treats, as well as helpful resources as a gift to each person. It also provides an opportunity for the chaplain to interact with each person and demonstrate the love of Christ to them.
getting started pack content ideas faq's
what’s in a hope pack?
Each Hope Pack consists of:
- Hope bag
- Hope card
- Armour book
- Chaplain contact card
- Customizable content (3 small items such as food items, hygiene products, socks, etc.)
what are your next steps?
- Decide. Check with your facility and decide if are you in
- Register. Go to goodnewsjail.org/hopepackregistration. Deadline is August 1, 2022
- Review. Look over the Packing Party “How To’s” and other information on the registration page as you plan for a successful Hope Pack Party and Hope Pack Campaign
- Plan. Begin now to identify potential partners to host a “Packing Party” and start the conversation so that by the registration deadline you know who, where, when, and how
pack content ideas
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What content is typically included in a Hope Pack?
- An original book with puzzles, devotionals, poetry, artwork, origami, and more, with much of that content coming from incarcerated individuals. We pray they enjoy all the pieces gathered in the book…the puzzles, the poems, the artwork, and stories…all laced with love, joy, and peace. We pray they find rest in its pages to emerge stronger and hopeful for the future!
- 3-4 treats which are pre-approved by the facilities. We choose snacks they often can not get in the commissary to provide both sweet and salty treats to bring a smile to their faces.
- The Christmas card carries a warm greeting, a calendar to track the days, and helpful information about services available to them and their family by the organization providing the Hope Packs.
- The contents are put in a white bag with a Christmas design printed on it.
What is the theme of this year’s Hope Pack book, entitled Armor Volume 3?
- In Armor Volume 3, we hope to take the recipients on a journey of cultivating their mind, body, and soul so that their mental well-being is strong, their body is restored, and their soul, in partnership with God, is ready to produce a bountiful harvest in their relationships, their family, and their immediate world. We focus on the fruit of the Spirit because love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are all aspects of a purposeful and productive life.
What are the dimensions of the book, and how is it bound?
- The book is 5⅜ x 8⅜ x ½”. It is high-quality, glue bound (no string or staples), soft cover, and 224 pages long.
What are the dimensions of the bag?
- The bag is 7” x 4” x 14”. It is a 40# white paper bag.
What else do I need to consider in packing the bags into boxes?
- Will the bags be searched by hand? If so, they need to all be standing up in the box. If not, they should be able to lay flat. Willow Creek’s bags used to be searched by hand but now go through a metal detector so they can lay flat now.
- The boxes which Willow Creek uses can hold 15 packs. The specifications for the boxes are as follows: Style RSC, size 15 ⅝” x 11 ⅝” x 12 ½”, Grade: 32-C Kraft, Glued Joint.
What are the different options for packing the bags?
- Assembly line - Set up tables with all the items in the order in which they should best be put in the bag.
- During church service - You can put bins at the end of each row containing all the bag components and pass them down the row one item at a time. Then you can pray over the bags and assign volunteers to put the bags into boxes as people are leaving the service.
What are my next steps to pursue giving Hope Packs to a correctional facility?
- Give information about Hope Packs to your correctional facility and ask for their approval. Find out what the facility needs to see to give their approval. An electronic version of the book will be available mid-summer along with pictures of the treats chosen for the bags.
How are the Hope Packs funded?
- Are there local churches who could engage in this project and support it financially as well as participate in the packing? Do you have a donor who has a special interest in projects of this type?
What is the deadline for ordering?
- The deadline is August 1, 2022. This is necessary to make sure that we have ample time to print the materials and deliver then for you to pack.
What do I need to know in order to register?
- How many are in your facility who will be participating.
- Where do you want to have the materials shipped when they are ready.
How many and what types of items can be included in each Hope Pack?
- It is suggested that you include no more than 3 items. The type of items depends on what your facility will permit you to distribute to the inmates. The tab at the top of the page has suggested ideas you can discuss with your facility administration.