The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) held a Virtual Volunteer Recognition and Appreciation celebration to highlight volunteers and programs who are making a difference in the lives of those imprisoned or recently released. Each prison was able to choose to recognize its Volunteer of the Year, the Most Impactful Program, and the Most Valued Staff Person. ODRC then chose one program statewide that was most impactful, and they chose Kairos Prison Ministry!
Kairos of Ohio State Chair Lauren Wiebe attended the virtual celebration and was pleasantly shocked and honored to be recognized as the Statewide Volunteer of the Year and for Kairos of Ohio to be named the most impactful program across all prisons throughout Ohio.
While Ohio, like many states, did not allow visitors inside their prisons for most of the year, the Kairos of Ohio team continued finding ways to show those we serve that they are still loved and haven’t been forgotten. Many Advisory Councils sent in cleaning supplies and hygiene kits for the inmates, as well as home baked cookies. One prison said they needed socks, so the Kairos team held a fundraiser and bought socks for all of the inmates in the prison. Some teams have recorded prayer and share sessions with music and send the video to the prison chaplain to play for all of the inmates, not just the Kairos Graduates.
We are so proud and blessed to have such driven and generous volunteers doing this tireless work, especially in the unexpected circumstances that occurred in 2020. This honor belongs to everyone who has ever baked a cookie, said a prayer, or participated in Kairos in Ohio in any way.