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Forgiven Felons lost a friend this week. Jim Picard, born 04/18/1944, went to be with Jesus on January 16, 2018 around 6pm. He was surrounded by his son Jason, daughter-in-law Kimberly, and myself. His family called me a week before he was to be released to the Beaumont Transitional Center. These places are worse than prison. With the help from God we were able to get him redirected to our ministry on the day he was sent down there. 

Jim, aka Jimbo or Grumpy, was quiet and reserved at first, not wanting to really take part in much or grow at all. Soon he found out that we really loved him and he began to come out of his shell a little. Doing sixteen years in prison at his age makes one retreat on the inside a little. We thought people called him Grumpy because he was....well, grumpy all the time. But that wasn't it. It was because he loved to use the fishing lures called grumpy. Yeah, I googled it like you probably will after you finish reading this email. He told a story of him paying $1000 for a grumpy fishing lure once. 

Just before the year was over I told the men to right down some goals for 2018 and some things they wanted to leave behind in 2017. Jim was scared to write anything down and wasn't sure about "goals" at his age. He knew he wanted to leave his sometimes negative attitude and procrastination in 2017. I told him he should have a serving goal for 2018. A way to give back to someone or something else. He sent me that goal in one of his last text messages he sent to me. He wanted to help some of the homeless veterans he would run into at the VA hospital. He wanted to help them with some food and clothes we had in abundance. We didn't get a chance to talk about it but I think we are going to start something in his memory. Thank you for your service to our country Jim.

Jim's smile was contagious and if he wasn't smiling it was because he didn't feel well. And even then he tried to force out a smile. He loved God and all the men that came through the house. He loved Forgiven Felons. Since he was released from prison he's tried to restore the relationship between he and his son and they were doing a great job at that. His son Jason came over last Saturday night with Pizza to watch football. Jim loved to cook us breakfast on Sunday morning for bible study and was always ready to help out in any way. He made everyone around him smile and laugh. We are going to miss him. 

Jim loved that we were expanding our ministry into larger facilities and was actually the architect that was drawing them out for us. He spent 30 years in the field and we couldn't afford one so he was doing it for free. If you know someone who can help us out please let us know. Thank you. 

Jim loved Forgiven Felons. If you'd like to give a gift to Forgiven Felons in memory of Jim you may do that here. Thank you. 

 

Please watch the Tribute to Jim video below. 

 

Practical Ongoing Needs of the House

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If you ever want to know how to donate "practical" things to our ministry you can view the list below. These are ongoing needs each month as men come and go through our ministry. You can send directly to our ministry or we can have someone pick up from you. You may also donate funds toward purchasing these items. Just mark it on your donation. 

 

-Twin sheets, fitted and non-fitted. 

-Twin blankets

-Towels. Bath, hand, and wash cloths. 

-Socks, gloves, and winter hats.

-Kitchen utensils, pots, pans, baking sheets, small appliances, hot pads.

-Light bulbs, cleaning supplies/chemicals, trash bags. 

-Hygiene. Soap, shampoo, Anti-perspirant, cologne, razors, shaving cream, toothbrushes, toothpaste. 

-Large appliances such as refrigerators, washer/dryers, microwaves. 

-Yard needs. Mowers, weed eaters, edgers, blowers. 

-Tools. Hand and power. 

Volunteer

We always need things done around the house that maybe the residents can't do because of their schedule. Sometimes the men could use a ride to parole when they first get out. After serving a long prison sentence the last thing you need to do is worry about how you are going to get to the parole office the next day. We can usually provide a ride but sometimes we need help. We always need help organizing clothes that are donated. We also need help going to pick up food at the food bank each month. 

The men also need good positive connections. You can volunteer your time  by pouring into one of our men. You can help them with navigating the computer, their new cell phone and inviting them to activities at your church. Let us know if you're interested in this because there is a little training involved.