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Are any of you going to send your pals anything for the holidays? Have you? If so, what?
No. When something as innocent as postcards can't get through or are confiscated, then I don't see the point. Christmas cards also seem too hard - the moment they come in a coloured envelope, they'd be gone too.
I'll just stick to wishing them merry christmas via handwritten letter and Corrlinks.
Most states don't allow you to send anything other than books, money or cards. Sometimes money is good because they put other things on the commissary list at Christmas.
Yeah I was implying money - I should have been more direct LOL I don't think anyone sends stuff like sweatshirts or underwear lollll
Socks of course!!! Jk;)) I usually send books, but this year I just asked what they woud like to get from me (because maybe they prefer money for example). I have two pen pals and willing to spend 20-25 bucks on each of them. It's Christmas after all...
Yes, I will. One of them asked mme for a certain book he'd love to have ( I asked whether he'd like money or the book, because he had mentioned the book in his letter), so I will send this (instead of money. The others will get 10 $ each.
I bought a 12 pack of custom printed Christmas cards from Shutterfly with a picture of my cats on them. I'm sending them to both my pen pals and to my free world friends.
I will, and I have in the past, sent magazine subscriptions to my penpals (the first time i wrote forever ago). So I'll probably be doing that again. What I like about magazines is they get them for the whole year, it's not just a one time thing.
other than that, christmas cards, and i make christmas activity packs with printable customizable puzzles (crosswords, word searches, etc.) and other christmassy stuff, I've done that before. Easy to make, all printable stuff off my computer.
To me, there's always a point in doing things for someone I call a friend during the holidays. I want them to know they're thought of and feel like they're a part of my life during all times of the year and holidays are no exception, so i make sure they all get extra mail in December especially. Even if they are late getting what i send, it's better than nothing.
I have a significant relationship with one person I sent money for a new pair of shorts and some hygiene products. You'd never believe that something like Herbal Essence would be an upgrade over the stuff they get given by the state if they can't afford anything but when they complain that their cell mate smells of commissary meat then its these small luxuries of a brand name shampoo and some nice alternatives to soap such as Dove that don’t dry your skin out would actually make their world go round.
It’s the simple things that make the world go round that cost between $5 and $10 each when they’re working for 0.15cents an hour that make their lives better to live in and make them feel more like a human. Even a product like Tide Ultra costs $7 at the facility that I currently write to and Maxwell House costs $6 just for coffee that tastes OK and isn’t American cawwwfeee…
Unless its someone significant I really wouldn’t consider sending more than $20. At this time of year $20 gets you almost anything on the Christmas food list (which is what they should be buying as its a once a year thing) or maybe some health, hygiene and beauty products…. But its not enough that they can use it for anything innocuous.
How far in advance do I need to send $$?
Also, where is the best place to get a card that will pass mailroom muster? I was in CVS this morning but all the cards were embossed or had glitter or foam bits..
You want a card made out of a single piece of cardboard, no double layers, no glitter no musical cards. If you send money by Western Union or Moneygram it should be there for them to pick up and to either put in their phone/internet account, their commisary, or their trust fund money. Some states you will still have to write a cheque/money order out or whatever the rules are... you will need to double check...
I should have said Money Gram and Western Union is same day delivery. My kingdom for an edit button...
The Thanksgiving card I sent was one piece, totally flat, no glitter, no bumps, BUT it might have been a little glossy. Think it made it through?
I'm going to use GTL I think for the money. Mail is taking so. long. these days out of Illinois. Went from 13 day turn around to over 21 days.
I think GTL should go straight to them for them to collect. Your card will be fine, so long as you've written on it of course.
Maybe I won't send money - his first name is missing the last letter as it's listed on JPay and WU is asking me how the person receiving wants it picked up :(((
Maybe a book for Christmas instead... easier and cheaper and guaranteed to get there on time. God but then trying to figure out how to get it to them with their inmate number. Argh.
Anyone got tips on books? :D
With Western Union you need the inmates last name to send money as well as their inmate number. Depending on what state you're in you can send money with jpay. I don't really know much about anything else. Books are a good idea but you will have to think about sending one soon so it gets there on time for Christmas with all the regular delays.
UPDATE: I did it! I sent $20 though GTL and it was painless! Too bad I couldn't add a message... so I wrote him a brief, one page letter.
Um. So my California pal just sent a letter, and included a highlighted list of items he wants from commissary.
I didn't even ask, at any point, if he wanted anything for Christmas, and in every god damn letter he's sent he's hinted at buying stuff. I should probably cut it off, huh?
If I were you, I wouldn't react on that one.
Honestly I'd like to stop writing him. He spends the majority of the letter bitching about helping others, calling them "lousy bastards," and in this last letter he said he really, really wants to hurt lazy people ("not kill, but really, really hurt.").... it's easy to see why he's in prison for murder tbh.
edit - he spends the majority of EVERY LETTER bitching about "lousy bastards."
Honestly I'd like to stop writing him.
Then do - after writing a goodbye letter in which you tell him why you'll stop writing to him.
Excuse me, don't know how it is with you, but my time, energy and money are all too precious to me to be wasted on writing to someone I don't like during my spare time.
OMG, IL PPP!!! Your Cali guy sounds like he's becoming a chore for you to write to, if I were you I wouldn't be willing to continue writing... but I'm not going to tell you one way or another, because it's your choice ultimately! I can totally see why you want to stop, I would too... because this writing process is supposed to be enjoyable for all parties, and nobody wins if you keep writing someone you really would rather not, because then you're gonna feel obligated to write and therefore not give as freely as you would if you wrote because you wanted to!
That's pretty forward and rude to highlight commissary lists to you and expect you to foot the bill... it reminds me of a thread forever ago, someone out of the blue sent a commissary list filled out to someone and told them to pay for it, alot of items with alot of money... the free person sent them back a credit card bill (or some other thing similar) and told the inmate to pay it... dunno if the inmate got the hint or not, but it was pretty epic! This particular inmate I believe had been harrassing the free person for money several times leading up to that as well, so I'd say it was well played!
I bought both my penpals something from Amazon. A sci-fi book we will read together for one, and for the other a book of wildlife photography, because what he asks for all the time is photos, particularly of nature :)
I sent both of my penpals two books through amazon (hate giving my money to this website as I only buy books in bookstores, but there's no other alternative, so...). I was thinking of sending money to one penpal, as he's indigent and has trouble finding writing paper, but don't know how to do it from France. I also don't want to rush it, since we're new penpals (a couple of months).
I would much rather send writing pads/stamps to inmates, but that's not possible either.
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