4 Ways You Can Help Christmas in Jail Feel More Cozy for Your Loved One

The holiday season is a time filled with anticipation, excitement, and joy for most people. However, it can be the loneliest time of year for inmates. At Christmastime, incarcerated people may feel left out as they are separated from their families and their cherished holiday traditions. Here are four ways you can help Christmas in jail feel more cozy for your loved one.

1. Celebrate with an in-person visit.

A visit from family or friends during the holiday season will mean the world to your incarcerated loved one. They may be feeling sad or lonely, and a loving familiar face can brighten their spirits. At federal prisons, in-person visits are allowed on Christmas Day, even if it does not fall on a regular visiting day. On the other hand, at state facilities, not every location will be open on December 25th. Make sure to look online or call the facility your loved one is at before planning a Christmas visit. However, visiting your loved one does not have to fall on the day of the holiday. Any visit during the season will be beneficial to both you and your inmate. Make sure to plan your visit ahead of time and look up the rules and regulations for visits in your loved one’s specific facility. If you are unsure of how to approach the visit, follow these tips for what to talk about when visiting someone in jail.

2. Keep in touch with festive phone calls.

Phone calls can be a great way to keep in contact with your incarcerated loved one during the holiday season. A majority of families live very far away from their inmate’s facility, and with all the rules and regulations, visiting during the holidays may be difficult. If you do not get the opportunity to visit in person, or are only able to do it once or twice, speaking to your loved one on the phone is the next best way to help them feel the Christmas cheer. Sharing your joys and letting your incarcerated friend or family member know they are loved can make a huge impact on their outlook for the season.

3. Send books and magazines in lieu of gifts.

A traditional part of Christmas that prisoners miss out on is gift-giving. Facilities will not accept most types of presents that you would send to a friend or family member during the holidays. However, most facilities will accept books and magazines. Books and magazines are something your inmate will be able to enjoy over time, so they can act as the gift that keeps on giving. Some tips to remember when it comes to sending books include: 

  • Do not send more than three books at a time.
  • All books must be new and soft cover (no hardcover or spiral bound for security reasons).
  • Always ship via USPS.
  • Books must come straight from the publisher (ie. Amazon).

When sending magazines to your incarcerated loved one, make sure to avoid publications with mature or sexual content, like Playboy. The facility will not accept magazines with adult themes and your inmate will not receive them. It is better to stick to more family-friendly or news-focused magazines, like Time or National Geographic.  

4. Send holiday cards and family photos.

One of the simplest yet most impactful ways to make Christmas more cozy for your incarcerated loved one is to send family photos and cards. Having family photos will help your inmate feel included in holiday traditions and remind them that they are not alone. Pelipost can help you send these holiday photos and cards to make it to your loved one in time for Christmas. Before you send, make sure to check out the guidelines for what types of photos are accepted. 

Happy Holidays!

Ready to send pictures? You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

The Benefits of Staying Connected with Incarcerated Loved Ones

In leading up to Love Your Inmate Day, August 8th, 2020, we’re sharing the benefits of staying connected with incarcerated loved ones and highlighting one man’s journey.

Take a moment to think about the domino effect that occurs when someone goes to prison. It impacts, not only the incarcerated, but his/her family, community, co-workers, and others.

For the incarcerated, emotions can range from fear to anger to high levels of anxiety in anticipation of the unknown. These emotions often stay bottled up looking for any possible escape. Similarly, loved ones experience so many emotions as they adapt to their new situations without their loved ones.

For these reasons, you can see how critical it is for those incarcerated and loved ones to stay connected. They need to have an outlet to share these pent up emotions. It goes without saying, that given the limited interaction in prison, staying connected with loved ones has numerous benefits for those incarcerated. We would like to highlight some in particular…

  • Staying connected can prevent institutionalization by reminding loved ones of the freedoms that exist, giving them much needed hope, inspiration, and validation.
  • Two-way communication provides families and friends with the insight and opportunity to understand what their loved one is going through, leading to more thoughtful conversations.
  • Better connectivity means those incarcerated have a better chance of successfully integrating back into their family and community upon release.
  • The memories that are missed by those incarcerated often serve as powerful reminders and mental motivation, so they are less likely to be a repeat offender.
  • Most importantly, staying connected makes those incarcerated feel human, cared about, and heard.

Over the next few days, we’ll be sharing the journey and story of Tyrone Toliver, an inmate at Ironwood State Prison (CA). His life of self-proclaimed gang-banging changed when he found his outlet to connect with others. Tyrone is now able to talk about the topics that he was too scared to talk about when he was first incarcerated.

Read Part 1 of Tyrone’s story now – ‘My Journey Behind Bars’

Don’t forget to send your incarcerated loved ones photos! You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Pelipost Donating 2,000 Masks

Pelipost is more than an app devoted to printing pictures for your incarcerated loved ones. We are always working to make it easier to stay connected and also to make a difference in the lives of those affected by incarceration. That’s why Pelipost is donating 2,000 masks!

The Pelipost Team packing 2000 masks.
The Pelipost Team packing 2000 masks.

Prisons and jails are being hit hard by the coronavirus because of how difficult it is to accomplish social distancing inside correctional facilities. Concerns have been circulating not just among those who are incarcerated, but also among those who work there. Cook County Jail is one of many facilities that has been hit hard by this pandemic. Pelipost has taken action to help.

Joseph Calderon (Pelipost CEO) packing masks.

Pelipost is donating 2,000 masks to the inmates and staff of Cook County Jail to help contain the spread. The masks were officially shipped on Friday, May 15.

Here at Pelipost, we are committed to doing our part in order to keep inmates and correctional staff safe during this pandemic. We are happy to be able to take part in slowing the spread of COVID-19. We’re all in this together!

Don’t forget to send your incarcerated loved ones photos! You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Helping Children with Incarcerated Parents

The Pelipost Team had a busy holiday season from our Giving Tuesday campaign to sponsoring the XO Factor, Inc. Adopt-A-Family event. Pelipost is proud to give back to multiple organizations who help families impacted by incarceration.

Did you know….

1-in-28 American children have an incarcerated parent.

Making a Difference

Bethany McNeil is the founder of XO Factor, Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to assist men, women, children, and families in rebuilding their lives after incarceration. With that being said, they are able to provide returning citizens with the services, support, and skills needed to become employed and self-sufficient.

Our CEO, Joseph Calderon, at the XO Factor, Inc. Adopt-A-Family Event.

Adopt-A-Family Event

Pelipost was a proud sponsor of the XO Factor, Inc. Adopt-A-Family event which provides children with gifts from their incarcerated parents. The Pelipost Team attended the event on December 16, 2019 to wrap gifts that would ultimately be delivered to children during the holidays.

Sponsors of the Adopt-A-Family Event.
The Pelipost Team wrapping gifts at the Adopt-A-Family Event.

Our CEO, Joseph Calderon, and our COO, Becky Calderon, shared their personal story with incarceration and how it effects all parties involved. They also brought awareness to the importance of staying connected to your incarcerated loved ones. Photos are a great way to share life’s special moments.

It brought great joy to our hearts to connect with families who have used XO Factor as a resource to better their lives upon release. Listening to the speakers share their experiences with recidivism and how they’ve made a point to give back to the community was amazing. We left the event truly inspired and ready to make an even bigger difference in 2020. Thank you XO Factor for all your great work in our community!

Don’t forget to send your incarcerated loved ones photos! You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Pelipost Gives Back Follow-Up

Pelipost Gives Back Winners

Following last week’s blog post, we have some exciting news! We asked for your favorite charity nominations and you delivered BIG!

Last week, we began our first giving initiative. As a result, we received over 60 charity nominations. In order to qualify, the charities nominated had to be actively involved in serving incarcerated persons and their families. We are excited to announce the 3 winning charities below! Pelipost will be making a $500 donation along with (25) Love Never Gives Up Bracelets to each of the winning charities listed below. Additionally, we will be donating a portion of sales from December 3 – Giving Tuesday.

Charity Winners

Prisoner’s Family ConferenceThe Prisoner’s Family Conference’s goal is to strengthen the entire prison family and promote successful reentry and reunification, reducing the rate of recidivism by providing critical connections, information and resources for families and secular and faith based organizations serving prisoners and their families.

“I have attended the past 4 Conferences. This Conference represents one of the rare opportunities for many of us to experience love and support even with a criminal past. We learn here that each of us has worth and the capacity to build a better life. We can become contributors to our community through sharing our stories and living a life we can each be proud of. In addition, our Conference highlights problems in our criminal justice system and in reentry which our Conferences speaks out and pushes for change and acceptance.”

Strong Prison Wives and Families – Strong Prison Wives & Families seek to enhance the lives of inmate supporters. They offer a variety of programs designed to provide empowerment, education & support; qualities essential to breaking the cycle of recidivism.

“This group has helped me feel loved and supported from day one being with a man who is incarcerated. They offer help understanding the system, how to handle losing a loved one to the system, and how to self care. This group has been a shoulder to cry on and a group to share laughs all the way to fighting the stigma of loving someone inside.”

Arouet Foundation Arouet has helped women tap into their own strengths, identify viable career paths, and establish stable, self-sufficient lives outside of prison. They’ve been serving incarcerated women for over 7 years with pre and post release programs. Most importantly, Arouet offers educational and employment supports, mentoring, wellness and behavioral health, life skills development, and advocacy.

“It was the most amazing opportunity and experience I’ve ever had in my life and I did all of that behind bars. I got out with over $10,000 to start my life over with. This Foundation gives these women hope.”

With that said, we are so grateful for your support and participation. You’ve made our first Giving Tuesday campaign a success! More information about ways to connect and get involved with the charities will be provided in the near future.

Finally, don’t forget to send your incarcerated loved ones photos this holiday season! You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Pelipost Gives Back

Happy Holidays, Pelipost Friends!

We’re working hard behind the scenes preparing for all of your upcoming photo orders. Be sure to upload your photos quickly so they will arrive in time for the holidays. You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. With that said, in the spirit of the giving season, we have some BIG NEWS! We’re excited to announce the Pelipost Gives Back efforts that we’ll be organizing for this Giving Tuesday!

Pelipost Gives Back

Pelipost will donate $500 to (3) charitable organizations and each will receive (25) Love Never Gives Up bracelets from our Love Your Inmate Day Collection. These organizations will be nominated by YOU and MUST serve families of incarcerated loved ones. In addition to our $500 donations, Pelipost will be donating a portion of sales from every photo order placed on GIVING TUESDAY (December 3).

We need your help!

We’re depending on YOU to help us find these charitable organizations. Please take a moment to NOMINATE YOUR FAVORITE CHARITY in the form below. We’ll be announcing the 3 winning charities on Giving Tuesday, December 3rd.

Fill out my online form.

Don’t forget to send your incarcerated loved ones photos this holiday season! You can download the Pelipost app through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.