Scary fact number one: 80% of incarcerated women in Texas are mothers. Scary fact number two: children of incarcerated parents are six to nine times more likely to someday be incarcerated themselves.
Luckily, the nonprofit Austin-based organization Women’s Storybook Project is working to beat those odds by connecting children with their mothers through reading.
Early years of childhood are so important for development, and having a connection with a parent is beneficial for a child’s growth. However, for those with incarcerated mothers, visiting is often difficult or costly. If these incarcerated mothers accomplish 90 days of good behavior, Women’s Storybook Project gives the gift of connection by allowing them to record a story for their child.
This organization impacts so many peoples’ lives. Mothers can reassure their children that they are thinking of them and wanting to be beside them. Children can hear their moms say “I love you,” and hold on to the recording forever.
Because the project is volunteer-based, they largely rely on the public to help them continue to strengthen the bonds between mothers and children. On Wednesday, September 30th, Women’s Storybook Project is hosting their 4th annual fundraising luncheon. This year the event is virtual for your safety, and you can register for free to join host Joy Diaz from NPR’s Texas Standard.
The September 30th event is one that you do not want to miss, as founder Judith Dullnig will share more information and stories, Houston-based musician SaulPaul will perform with a strong message, and alumni volunteers will also speak about the organization. The moving program will be held on National Love People Day via Youtube Live at 12 noon CT. National Love People Day urges us to love and care for everyone, no matter what mistakes they may have made. So, the Women’s Storybook Project encourages everybody to virtually show up for this fundraiser which will be full of love and hope for a brighter future.
The luncheon will be supporting the two hard-working full-time employees and over 225 volunteers of the project, and of course the mothers and children in the program. Even during a pandemic, Women’s Storybook Project continues to support these families by sending books and messages of hope and love.
Every year the selfless project team is able to help connect thousands of incarcerated mothers. Their impact stays with the children, as one child is quoted on their website, “I miss my mom. I don’t get to see her much, so her reading means the world to me.”
The project works in 10 women’s Texas prisons and sends packages to over 100 Texas counties and across 35 states in order to make their mission come to life. They need your help to continue doing this important work, and urge you to attend the luncheon, and if you are unable to attend, to please donate.
Cover photo courtesy Women’s Storybook Project
Gracie Watt is an Editorial Intern at Texas Lifestyle Magazine and a junior at St. Edward’s University in Austin, studying Journalism. When she’s not writing, Watt enjoys singing, playing the guitar and doing volunteer work. @gracie.whatt