Ally believed that every living thing is good and worthy of unconditional love. A way she practiced this was through a three-year correspondence with John, a forty-seven year old man serving a life sentence in a Texas prison.
This exchange was important to both sides. When John didn’t have any actual paper, he wrote to Ally on toilet paper; when she realized that prisoners were regularly denied something as basic as pen and paper, she sent John money to buy them in the prison commissary.
John had hand-painted and neatly lettered a beautiful card for Ally’s twenty-first birthday (May 27th) and had mailed it with enough time to make it to New Zealand. The card thanks Ally for being born, writing, “Your presence makes the world a better place, particularly my world,” and wished her “ten million more lovely breaths.” Heartbreakingly, the card was never received, it was en route when the tragedy that took Ally’s life struck.
John received news of what happened by a letter from Ally’s sister, Emily. “She was the only person in the world who genuinely cared about me,” he wrote, his pain palpable. “She reached out to me, a nobody; she gave me love and dignity when no one else would.”
If you are interested in showing your humanity by connecting with an incarcerated member of society, there are a number of organizations dedicated to prisoners’ rights and to helping inmates cope with incarceration. @abolitionapostles has a program you may sign-up for, and is a great resource to educate yourself on further topics. ...