I love these women at Gadsden Correctional Facility (GCF). I have been part of a group that has held running and training events with them since 2012 (!).
So much has changed since then. I am no longer able to run, but I go and do the events and either walk or volunteer. There’s always a job to do or a conversation to hold — these people truly don’t care how long it takes me to cover a walked or run distance.
Our group received an update from our staff contact at GCF recently. We had all been worried about COVID-19, especially based on what we were learning from newspaper reports.
There was COVID-19 at the facility, but we learned that the women who are involved in the facility’s programs are back in their regular dorms and participating in their regular routines. (I don’t really know what that means for the facility as a whole — I imagine there is still exposure there, but it sounds like, in general, they have things under control. I hope so.)
Our group asked if we could contribute a banner to hang on the fence by the field where they run so they would know we are thinking of them.
Our leader shared his email about their condition and his response to the idea of a banner. He said, “always remember the smallest things matter to these ladies.”
And those few words — “always remember the smallest things matter to these ladies” — have stuck in my mind ever since I read them.
This is a time in our nation (and world) where we often feel at odds for how to help.
Although there are VERY big things that need to be done to set our world on the right track, it’s important to remember that “the smallest things matter.” That applies whether our prison is one of literal bars and security measures or one built from our own insecurities and inadequacies.
Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” (But I can’t resist spell checking, as you can imagine.)