Massachusetts: Church ministry helping women released from prison
St. John’s Episcopal Church of Ashfield has been overseeing a ministry known as “Love in a Backpack” for the past three years with the goal of ensuring that women recently released from prison receive basic necessities.
Each backpack has three bags of items: one bag is filled with personal care and toiletries, a second bag contains food and water, and a third bag includes a Bible and a personal note of encouragement.
According to Mary Link, who helps to lead the ministry, the project has “deepened and grown over the years.”
“We have experienced the joy of doing God’s work through our hands, serving the women most in need during a fragile and scary transition time,” Link said. “Several other churches and groups have partnered with us each year, helping us increase the number of backpacks we can pull together to provide for the women. Some partners just collect packs or toiletries, others fill three or more whole packs.” […]