Why CTF is Donation-Based

This week CTF received more than $100 in donations to help keep our phones & websites running. This generosity reminded me of the the reason CTF is donation-based. We have avoided grants & government funding so we can maintain our autonomy and authority over our programming. We’re different and truly unique to anything out there. Donations from socially justice-minded individuals keep our programs in our hands which allows us to run client-centered programming tailored specifically to the needs of the individuals, families and communities we work with. Thanks again to those who have donated recently or in the past. Your contributions are truly valued & deeply appreciated!

News From the Board of Directors

The CTF Board of Directors has been meeting weekly for the past three months. Our main goal is finding ways to sustain our ever-increasing transformation programs to inmates & their loved ones across Canada.

We’re launching a new multi-level membership package, training new volunteers for our pen pal program, and gradually increasing the number of clients we’re accepting through the crisis phone line services.

We’re very excited about 2021!

Nothing boring about these board meetings 🙂

CTF Now Receiving PayPal Payments

Since our inception in November 2018, CTF crisis phone lines have operated solely from the generous donations from supporters. When we offer a safe place for inmates to work through their issues we are creating a more peaceful environment both inside and outside the jail walls. Every human being has issues and when we work through them together all our lives can have more peace.

CTF is now accepting donations through PayPal on this website. Consider donating today to support our growing transformation programs in Canadian jails.

Did You Know We Offer Post-Release Counselling?

At the beginning, it was just me, Rachel, answering calls from inmates from Maplehurst Correctional Center in Milton, Ontario. In fact, Maplehurst is the biggest provincial jail in all of Canada. It houses people who have been charged with a crime but have not been sentenced or they have been sentenced and it is less than two years,

At first, way back in 2018, I was taking calls, listening to dreams, giving interpretations, and working on a book of dreams from inmates. One man, aged 22, started calling then and now, in December 2020, he’s been released and is still connecting.

Our organization has grown as our clients have grown. Now we have a post-release program as well for inmates who need some extra support as they transition to the community. Contact us for more information if you or your loved one would like more information on our post-release services.

We’re making it even easier for our supporters to donate!

If you would like to donate to any of the CTF programs you can do that now by clicking this link.

In 2020, we’ve supported victims & perpetrators of crime through a transformation process. We’ve helped with therapy, court preparation, social advocacy, and relationship building.

We currently operate three phone lines to jails in Toronto. If you’d like to donate to help us continue offering this support for free to our clients, please click here to send funds through a secure Paypal service.

In a Hamilton, Ontario jail we have about a dozen inmates interested in our 19-Day Correspondence course. If you would like to donate to help with the postage & fees associated with running this program, please click here for a secure Paypal donation.

We also deliver newspapers to our clients who are incarcerated and run a penpal program. If you’d like to help support either of these programs please click here.

We are excited about the growth in our organization in 2020 and look forward to an amazing 2021.

Become a Member and Help Reduce Crime

When CTF answers calls to the crisi phoneline or sends encouraging letters through the pen pal or transformation programs we are reducing rates of criminal activity.

How is this possible? I’ll tell you by sharing an example. One inmate called the crisis line daily for the full duration of his 6 month bid in a provincial jail. We did therapy sessions around past trauma, relationship work around his parents and girlfriend, and inner work to build confidence and clarity for a positive future.

When he got out of jail, he went back to school, moved in with family instead of going back to the streets, and he continued connecting with CTF volunteers who gave him support on his journey.

This is how we reduce crime. We are healing trauma. We are strengthening relationships. We are building skills and capacities.

When you become a member you can help your own loved one in jail or help sponsor someone else who is committed to creating positive change in their lives.

When you’d like to sign up as a member you’ll find a variety of options and can choose the one which best suits you and your family. We are working on a we website for our members and will share it here soon. In the meantime if you’d like more information you can send us a message on the contact page me we’ll get back to you with more details soon.

Rolling Out Our CTF Store

We are working hard to adjust to the changing times and to assess community needs. We’d like to help ease the hardships of people suffering most during this pandemic.

To this end we are taking great strides to expand services to our members, to supply useful goods and services to those in need, and to offer a continuous stream of positive encouragement and inspiration.

More details will be coming soon! Check here often for updates, special opportunities, and stories of success and growth.

It’s Been a While…

Dear friends, members, clients & readers!

Back in March 2020, I posted an article about delivering food packages to potential Covid-19 suffers and then shortly afterwards I became ill as well for about three weeks with something doctors said resembled Covid-19 but I was never tested. Back then, tests were reserved for people working on the front lines, people suffering with severe breathing issues, and seniors. Since I didn’t fall into any of those categories I was instructed by the health specialists to self-isolate for 14 days and go to hospital if symptoms worsened.

At that time, I fell out of the habit of writing daily and I’m really surprised to look back and see the last post was in March. The good news is this – CTF is still operational, even though it has been affected by the pandemic as most organizations have. Here are some highlights of the past nine months:

  • In July we held our first Annual General Meeting (AGM) through Zoom with participants from Ontario and British Columbia
  • At our AGM we elected two new board members, bringing the total to four
  • In September & October we launched a 19-Day Transformation Program in Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Center and we started looking into getting a 1-800 number
  • As of December 2020 we have six phonelines available to a dozen jails in Ontario
  • Throughout 2020 we connected with dozens of inmates & their families to promote transformation and personal growth
  • Richard Hasting’s book Dreams For Peace, which introduces the Dreamwork approach which is now used in jails across Canada, is now available in 5 book stores in the lower mainland, in addition to being available online
  • Some of our clients have been released from jail and have great success stories to share – they’ve gotten married, or are working in a chosen field, have completed their GED (high school) or other training programs, etc.

We are continually in awe of the strength, determination & enthusiasm for the inmates & families we work with. We thank everyone who has donated, volunteered, or contributed in some positive way to CTF clients throughout 2020. Time to put the year behind us and get ready for some new beginnings. You can look forward to more activity on this website, more updates, more information and exciting stories about transformation!

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

Local Man With Covid-19 Symptoms Recieves Care Package

Vancouver, B.C. – A local man with symptoms of the Covid-19 virus gave a thumbs up sign when he received 10+ bags of groceries donated today by nearby community members.

Three families contributed about $200 worth of fresh fruits & veggies, essentials like breads, and meats, as well as items for breakfasts and dinners. All three families are members of the Baha’i Community, near Vancouver, B.C., and the volunteer driver works with the Community Transformation Foundation outreach programs. This was the second week in a row of food deliveries for this household.

This gentleman is not alone during his struggles right now. As the whole world braces for the uncertainty of this virus, connecting with community couldn’t be more important. Actions such as this remind us that amidst a time of physical distancing there can be a lot of social cohesion & togetherness. Before our food packages came, this man said he had run out of food. I strongly believe no one should ever know the suffering of being hungry and not have a meal to eat. For this reason, I am filled with so much gratitude to the volunteers and families who reached out during a time of need and demonstrated that even in a time of social-isolation we truly are not alone.

Helping Society’s Most Vulnerable

Sometimes, when people hear that CTF helps inmates, they seem surprised. Why give attention, resources & time to “criminals”? I’d like to answer that question in this post.

Firstly, the inmates who we help are the ones who want help. They are open-minded, positive people who have a lot to offer the world and they want to contribute to their communities. Also remember: most of the inmates in provincial jails are legally innocent of any crimes. They have been accused of something but they are innocent until proven guilty and they have not yet had their day in court. I’ve heard stories from dozens of inmates who have been charged with crimes they had nothing to do with. It’s important to keep this in mind when working with them. The worst case I’ve seen so far was a 27 year old man who had been incarcerated for 17 months and then went to court only to find all charges were dropped and he was released. He’ll never get those 17 months of his life back. This is the criminal justice system in Canada.

But for those inmates who have made mistakes and have drug or weapons charges, or maybe assault, or robbery, it is important not to label them as if they should only be defined by their mistakes. Every human being on this planet makes mistakes and we continually check our Selves for moral or lawful actions. When working with inmates I have found that not everyone who breaks the law is an “immoral” person and not everyone who’s made immoral choices is a “criminal”. This is an indepth and philosophical debate which I won’t get into now but what I mean to say is that I have met more inmates…these so-called “criminals”…who have a higher desire to transform, and a higher desire to transcend challenges than many citizens of the world. Too often, there are people living in the world, caught up in their ego-desires and corrupt inclinations who never see the inside of a jail cell. And all too often, there are good-hearted and well-meaning individuals who are trapped behind bars because of a system or a community who has failed them.

This is why I work with inmates. This is why I see the potential for growth & transformation even for people who are in jail.

One of the ways CTF has supported inmates in the past and what we hope to do more of in the future, is to help them overcome financial barriers to their own health & well-being. When a person has spent months or years in a provincial jail and is then transferred to a federal institution for the duration of their sentence, they often do not have the money or resources needed to get themselves established.

Federal institutions, or penitentiaries, are for people serving two years or more. When they are transferred into the pen, they can purchase a TV, a fan, headphones, as well as specific clothing items. For inmates who have endured additional mental health or medical issues while incarcerated, having access to their own TV is a huge asset to their mental well-being. Unfortunately, not all inmates have money saved to buy this pen package, and not all inmates have friends or family who can help them purchase this package. For this reason, CTF has offered to raise funds for inmates who need financial support for their pen package.

When CTF contributes to purchasing the pen package, the transfer of funds goes directly from CTF bank accounts to the Home Hardware store who then delivers the package to the inmates. This ensures that 100% of the funds are used only for the purchase & delivery of this package.

We carefully select the clients who qualify for our Inmate Support Fund, based on criteria such as their participation in our programs, their willingness to reflect on the nature of their charges, and their proven ability to demonstrate genuine change. We also look for inmates who promote our programs, who connect us with others, and who have contributed some value to CTF development. In this way, when we provide a pen package to an inmate, it is in recognition & appreciation for their contributions to our nonprofit efforts.

Currently, CTF is supporting a 32 year old native man, from Hamilton, who is going by J.H. His story and Go Fund Me page can be accessed at this link. We would be so grateful for any contributions – big or small – which can help J.H. during his transfer to a penitentiary. Please consider reading his story here and if you feel inspired to contribute that would be wonderful. It is the generous support of friends, families and community members which has moved CTF forward over the years, allowing us to continue growing & helping more and more people along the way.

Not that interested in supporting purchase of a pen pack but you still want to help?

Donations of all denominations are warmly welcomed at any time. We use 100% of funds raised to run phone lines, send letter-writing campaigns, and provide transformation correspondence courses. Your donation can help us keep our programs running & growing!