Giving Her Allowance to People in Prison: A Reflection for Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday

Hundreds of Orthodox churches of all jurisdictions across the country are preparing for Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday on July 28, 2024. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States has blessed this annual day of recognition, prayer, and almsgiving for our brothers and sisters behind bars. One brave girl, however, has already begun her almsgiving: at only twelve-years-old, Claire donates part of her allowance to help people behind bars.

“I had never really thought about what happens spiritually when you go to prison,” says Claire. “Watching a presentation from OCPM made me realize that there are people who need help and there are people who are willing to help, and I wanted to help, too.”

When asked why she thought it was important to help those incarcerated, her answer struck at the heart of prison ministry: being able to see someone behind bars as more than his or her crime.

“It’s really important for people to know they are cared about, especially when they make bad decisions,” she says. 

With now 113 million adults in the U.S. with an immediate family member who has been to jail or prison, none of us are too far removed from someone who has committed a serious crime and thus, in Claire’s eyes, specifically needs our love and support.

To someone considering getting involved in prison ministry, Claire simply says, “Do it. People should know that they are forgiven and loved, and you should be a part of that.”

OCPM is grateful (and humbled) to have such a young and understanding supporter of prison ministry in its community. If only more of us could see the heart of the Gospel teachings as clearly as she does!

To learn more about Prison Ministry Awareness Sunday and how your parish can get involved, visit

Share this story

Receive inspiration in your inbox