When Family Reconciliation Center began the new year,
we started with the same anticipation and hope that we always do: wonder at what new families we would meet; bittersweet excitement for those we’d say farewell to; and eagerness at the prospect of embracing new volunteers and community members into our work.
Then in March, the world turned upside down when a tornado tore through Middle Tennessee. Within days, it turned upside down again when COVID-19 reached Nashville, forcing the city to shut down. Then, the Tennessee Department of Corrections (TDOC) suspended all visitation—indefinitely.
As is true for many, 2020 has been unlike any year we’ve ever faced as a nonprofit. This summer, our new House Managers, Judith and Grant, moved into an empty guest house. They long to resume those beloved and boisterous Saturday night community dinners. They await word from TDOC that visitations have resumed so they can finally meet our clients in person rather than simply hearing their voices on the phone.
The interim months at the guest house, however, have been anything but quiet. Over the spring and summer we installed a new roof and new windows. Scout volunteers laid a new stone pathway out front, ready to hold the footsteps of guests making their way to our front door. Fresh paint is on our walls. Updates and changes have been made in anticipation of the season to come when the waiting will be over and the community will finally return.
Since 1984, Family Reconciliation Center has been a critical resource for families visiting loved ones in prison. Many clients say we’re their “home away from home,” and our clients know a thing or two about the heavy burden of waiting: waiting for that next visitation weekend, for the upcoming parole hearing, for their loved one to be released, for their family member or friend to finally come home.
If our clients can wait with such patience, such perseverance, such steadfast love—then so can we.
We need your support to make it through this long winter of waiting. More than ever, your donation will go the distance like never before:
$100 = 2-night stay for 2 inmates’ families
$250 = 2-night stay for 5 inmates’ families
$500 = 2-night stay for 10 inmates’ families
Thank you for giving generously. Your gift ensures that the Family Reconciliation Center will be here when the wait is finally over. As one client said, “It’s not just a house; it’s a home, a place of love and acceptance.”
Home is waiting,
Board Chair, Family Reconciliation Center