All kids need is hope
Isabelle's Book Club, Inc. was founded on the idea that all kids need help. The kids we choose to help are kids of the incarcerated. We began in 2013 when research brought these kids to the forefront, referring to them as "an invisible population". It's our belief that they need to visible--highly visible--and that is what we do: shine a light on kids who are dealing with consequences of parental choices.
The light we shine on them is as a collective group. An anonymous bunch of young people, if you will. Individuals are never identified as the stigma of parental incarceration is something they shoulder every day of their lives. We won't add to their burden. Not ever and not intentionally. Ever.
It is our hope to let others know these children matter. They are our future. It's important that they receive the help and hope they deserve.
Plenty of resources exist for those in need. Local, state and federal agencies help. But what happens when the people who need them can't access them? Don't know they exist? Don't even realize they need help because they are so focused on surviving?
Isabelle's Book Club, Inc.advocates for the children who see and talk with their parent on a scheduled vistation day and time at a location sometimes hours away from home. We support the kids who have no hope because of housing insecurity, food insecurity, may be in the foster care system, who often give up because their coping skills are minimal at best. They act out because they want help but don't know how to ask for it. They shutdown and internalize everything.
But there is hope. It comes in the shape of square pages and lots of words. Sometimes there are even pictures.
Isabelle's Book Club, Inc. provides free books to the young people at visitation. Why a book? Because it's an escape from life. It's a reprieve from worry and sadness. It offers a diversion from the harsh reality of life that a child shouldn't have to deal with. Ever.