April 2024 Edition Click here for a PDF version


It's the 2024 HFP Unball!

Here's your invitation to stay home!

Tickets are now on sale for this popular non-event. Here’s why it’s such a bargain!

You don’t get a seat at a table

You don’t get a charcuterie plate

There’s no entrée or flaming dessert

You won’t be sitting next to someone who talks too much

The music won’t be too loud

The speaker won’t be too long!

Instead, you can support one of your favorite charities this way:

You won’t have to buy new clothes

You won’t have to hire a baby-sitter

You won’t have to tie up one more evening

You won’t have to pay for a hair-cut

There’ll be no travel expense

You WILL have a free evening for your family!

Tickets are $100 each or 2 for $175. Share the good work of HFP with family and friends by not sponsoring a table for $500, or even become a non-event sponsor for $2500. No donation is too large!

              You may send your 2024 Unball reservation check to  

Humanity For Prisoners, P.O. Box 687, Grand Haven, MI 49417.

Or you can click here to give online!

More good news! Every Unball donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $20,000! Prefer to give monthly? Great! New monthly gifts will be matched for the first year!

From the Desk of Doug

Clucking is not enough

It's time to act!

When I first started writing radio editorials in the 50s and 60s, some listeners alleged that I was trying to make up their minds for them. That was far from the truth. My goal was to shed light on a community problem, share my thoughts, then let the listener form his or her own opinion.

FYI, I’m still writing editorials. They call them blogs now, and I write posts for the HFP blog site on a regular basis. If this is not something you follow, I encourage you to take time once a week to check humanityforprisoners.blogspot.com.

In recent weeks I’ve touched on such topics as

-the struggles poor people have in obtaining strong legal defense

-Michigan prison guard misconduct when dealing with Muslims

-Our nation’s shameful position on capital punishment

-Michigan’s shameful record of life without parole for juveniles

-An inhumane prison system that isn’t working.

I hope you’ve noticed the little quote at the very bottom of this month’s newsletter. German Lutheran pastor, theologian and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer reminds us:

“Not to speak is to speak.

Not to act is to act.”

“Tsk, tsk,” is not enough when reading my posts. I founded this organization to assist the lonely, the poor, the downhearted, the forgotten men and women behind bars. I encourage you to join us in standing up for these people.

We welcome your support!

Psalm 82:3: Defend the weak and the fatherless;

uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.

Books for Children of Prisoners!

HFP is entering into a partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, according to Executive Director Mark Harman. Under this program, preschoolers who have a mother or father in prison will receive delightful books!

With this partnership, Michigan prisoners will be encouraged to register their children in cities where they reside. Hartman said that participants in this partnership are currently working on ways and means to implement the program.

Locally, the United Way of the Lakeshore is the DPIL affiliate; however, of the thirteen counties in Region IV Hub, eleven of them now have DPIL programs. Said Barbara Saunders Sims, Oceana County Director of United Way of the Lakeshore: “What a wonderful opportunity for parents in prison to play a part in their child’s future, ensuring their children are receiving a book each month!” 

HFP: Doing what it does best!

Randy: We have 7 Muslims in our facility. Since the beginning of Ramadan the staff have been less than co-operative in providing their Ramadan food packs and meals in a timely manner. Last night they didn't receive their bags until 10 pm!”

One day later: "Thank you from the Muslim brothers for acting so quickly to advocate on their behalf. They wanted to let you know that tonight they received their packs on time!"

Tiffany:Just this week Gabe and I celebrated 16 years of marriage...and five years of his return back to us. It's been a journey, but as I'm looking over the Communicator this month I feel so much gratitude for HPF - for the compassion shown and knowing there is a community that looks beyond the one of the worst things to ever happen to a person (and a family) to the humanity within.”

Proud of HFP Leaders!

Mark Hartman

Our Executive Director was in Lansing on February 27 to testify before the House Criminal Justice Committee in support of H.B. 4427, an amendment to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act of 1994. The amendment would allow Michigan prisoners to file Freedom of Information Act requests under certain circumstances. Our state is one of only a couple that denies prisoners this important action. Who better to testify than Mark, who dealt with that very issue during his 12-year incarceration?

Jim Niewenhuis

HFP’s Board Chair and his wife, Maartje, left Michigan on March 15th to spend a month in Kenya. Jim is working in the hospital lab doing pathology. Meanwhile, Maartje has been working with the chaplain on the children's floor. Who better to chair our board than a person with this kind of compassion?

Behind Our Walls

Upcoming screenings of the award-winning documentary

· 4/21 @ 5pm: Providence CRC, Grand Rapids, MI.

· 5/30 @ 7pm: Holland Museum, Holland, MI.

All screenings are free to attend!

In Honor of Second Chance Month

People–even more than things–must be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Never throw out anyone.

Audrey Hepburn

HFP Activity Report

March Requests for Assistance: 989

Total 2024 Requests for Assistance: 3,568

Humanity for Prisoners

Humanity for Prisoners is a 501C3 non-profit organization that works one-on-one with prisoners in the Michigan Department of Corrections to help resolve any non-legal issues our clients face.

Click here to support our work today!