By Jennifer Chapin, Tellwell publishing consultant
Alison Child-Beleny released her memoir with Tellwell Publishing in July 2018 and it is entitled, “My Years Behind Bars: Memoirs of a Volunteer.: It was a dream for her to publish her memoir, and a legacy she left behind when she passed away this month. You can find this book on Amazon or through other online booksellers like Chapter/Indigo and Barnes & Noble.
When we first starting talking about her inspiration for the book I erroneously thought that Alison had been behind bars, until she corrected me, laughing. The book tells a story of her 26 years as a volunteer with male offenders in a maximum security detention center. Her role was technically that of a life support group facilitator. However, her real job she said, was to reach out in friendship, love, and respect to all of these men, regardless of the events that led them to being there in the first place.
In return, they loved her back.
Alison sent me images of the artwork they had sent to her: pastels, line drawings, cartoons, cards and scrawled notes that over the years revealed how much she meant to them and how important her friendship was in a dark time of their lives. Their art, in many cases, was absolutely stunning.
“Wow, look what you did for them!” I exclaimed in one of our conversations.
“Actually”, she said, “look what they did for me. Their friendship changed my life completely.”