Outside contact is almost impossible when someone is behind bars, but a group is taking their creativity and using it to help create free communication.
Rhonda Schmidkunz has always been crafty, but it was a gift she received 11 years ago from her son that changed her way of thinking.
“We have a son that is incarcerated and I got the same mother’s day card from him 2 years in a row and I was like wait, I’m a card maker,” Schmidkunz said.
She said he paid a hefty amount just to send those cards and she didn’t think that was fair. So, she started something new, a group called Folding Angels. Together, they make and donate nearly 700 cards, every month, for the Ward County Jail and the North Dakota State Penitentiary, so her son and other’s could send cards for free.
“A lot of the guys here at the county jail and at the state pen are not from this state or they may not see their loved ones,” Schmidkunz said.
Members of the community meet every second Saturday of the month, at Our Savior Lutheran Church, and help by handcrafting all “Holiday”, “Thank you”, and “I’m Sorry” cards.
One participant says they take shifts, but it always seems to get done.
“I never come in until one or two o’clock. Some others come in the morning. There are probably some people I’ve never seen or don’t know.” Participant Char Timothy said.
Schmidkunz says people always ask her why they help men who committed crimes.
“Yeah they deserve to be there, they deserve to be punished, but I’ve met a lot of guys, young men, that deserve a second chance,” Schmidkunz said.
Which is why Folding Angels is so special.
The group says they’re always looking for new people to join.
You can do that by visiting or calling Our Savior Lutheran Church in Minot and asking for Rhonda.