Dayspring Prison Ministry began in the spring of 2022 with women seeking to find ways to support our sisters in the Arizona State Women’s Prison Complex at Perryville in Goodyear, AZ, where over 4,000 women are housed.
Dayspring Prison Ministry developed through our collaborative efforts with the Litchfield Park St. Peter’s Episcopal Church’s prison ministry outreach, which offers worship services and mentoring to female inmates at Perryville.
From them we began to receive names of Perryville inmates who wanted a pen pal. Elizabeth Winkler stepped forward to lead our “Purposeful Pen Pal” ministry. A safe system was set up for women from Dayspring to only use their first name and to use the church address for return mail.
A “birthday brigade,” under the leadership of Dorothy Young, began when we learned of a resource for birthday names each month. Today that team sends cards to an average of thirty women each month with occasionally getting return correspondence saying how grateful they were to be remembered and how much that meant to them when no one else seemed to remember or care.
The program expanded when we learned of The Magdalene House in Avondale which serves as home for six women released from Perryville. Their mission is to create a survivor led program of housing, healing, recovery, and sustainable economic empowerment for women who have experienced incarceration. Dayspring Prison Ministry learned of their household needs as well as personal needs of the women. In the fall of 2022, we collected much needed household items like dish detergent, washing machine soap, paper towels, toilet paper, brooms, and more along with personal items for the women like body wash, hand lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitary products and more. Christmas 2022 found Dayspring creating baskets for each of the women filled with personal items, candles, socks, and gift cards for a pedicure and manicure.
Dayspring also collects and distributes books to Perryville for their libraries which are always in need of good books.
We invite you to join us in this ministry through becoming a member of the team (meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month in Room 112 at Dayspring Tempe – note: we do not meet over the summer months).
Donations are always welcome at church or online HERE.
For further information, please contact Pastor Shirley or Karen Spencer-Barnes.