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This December, the Freedom Writers Foundation humbly asks that you donate to help us bring Hope for the Holidays to teenagers in juvenile halls. This December, the Freedom Writers Foundation humbly asks that you donate to help us bring Hope for the Holidays to teenagers in juvenile halls.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 19:38

Give Hope for the Holidays

This December, the Freedom Writers Foundation humbly asks that you donate to help us bring Hope for the Holidays to teenagers in juvenile halls. 

Give Hope for the Holidays.

For many of us, the holidays are filled with hope and happiness, and the love and laughter of friends and family.  Unfortunately for others, the holidays can be quite lonely and dark.  To help shed light on the darkness, the Freedom Writers humbly ask our beloved brethren to help us bring hope for the holidays to teens who are incarcerated at Christmas.  Through generous donations from our Freedom Writer family, each Christmas Eve, Erin Gruwell and a passionate Freedom Writer Teacher who works with vulnerable youth, hand deliver books to teens who are behind bars.  With the gift of a personalized copy of “The Freedom Writer Diary,” our visit reassures these teens that just because they did something bad, it doesn’t mean they are a bad person.  Because of your belief in our cause and generous donation, we share sentiments of success, give warm hugs, and have a celebratory “Toast for Change.” May our visit inspire hope for the hopeless!

Every year, Erin visits a juvenile hall during the holidays to bring hope to teenagers who have lost faith in themselves. This year, we’re asking for your help!  

This summer, the Freedom Writers Foundation had the opportunity to welcome two extraordinary educators who work with incarcerated youth into our ever expanding Freedom Writer Teacher family.  Ben Annis and Dave Gideon have devoted their teaching careers to helping incarcerated youth strive for success, and join the ranks of many talented Freedom Writer Teachers who work with incarcerated youth.  Recently, Erin Gruwell traveled to their facilities in Cromwell and Crittenden, Kentucky to meet their struggling students to provide a message of hope and empowerment.  The young men, who ranged in age from 13-18, read excerpts from “The Freedom Writers Diary,” played the Line Game with her and made their own touching “Toast for Change”. The most poignant part of the visit was when the teens volunteered to read aloud from their own harrowing journals and share their personal stories.

The experiences these residents shared are hauntingly similar to experiences many of the original Freedom Writers endured.  Through sharing stories of being called “stupid” or a “failure” by someone they love, or heart wrenching stories of mental, physical and sexual abuse, Erin shared anecdotes of her own students.  Erin spoke to the youth about overcoming adversity, setting goals for the future and the importance of getting their high school diploma despite their current circumstances.

After returning back to California, Erin received a letter from one of the residents. In it he says, “My lawyer told me I was going to get out on March 14th, but he was wrong… I wanted to be out before my birthday. I felt like quitting everything, and on top of that, two days after my birthday my sister died. I felt hopeless… then you [Erin Gruwell] came and gave me hope. Now I am not only on track to complete my high school credits, but I want to go to college and be successful… you are a blessing!”

Your donation, this holiday season, will allow us to provide each teen with a personal copy of The Freedom Writers Diary – a collection of stories by students who faced and overcame some of the same obstacles as teens in juvenile halls.
This Christmas Eve, Erin will visit the San Diego Juvenile Hall, which she has been visiting for over a decade. On that special day, she will be joined by Freedom Writer Teacher, Danny Ybarra, where they will hand deliver signed copies of “The Freedom Writers Diary” to vulnerable teens, many of whom are mirror images of the original Freedom Writers.  For some, “The Freedom Writers Diary” will be the first book they’ve ever owned, and perhaps, the only Christmas gift they will receive this year.  She will spend Christmas Eve sharing stories, writing wrongs, and engaging in an emotional “Toast for Change.” With your help this holiday, may hope spring eternal…

Our mailing address is:
P.O. Box 41505, Long Beach, CA 90853 

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Read 12759 times Last modified on Wednesday, 14 December 2016 19:57

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