Every Girl’s Dream is to help others….
Carolyn LeCroy is a true heroine. She’s petite and smart when you meet her, but, you would not assume that she carries on several remarkable projects. She’s not loud or brash — but she has absolutely positively affected the lives of many, many people.
Carolyn is an award-winning film and video producer who started “The Messages Project ” in 1999. “The Messages Project” is a non-profit organization that enables children of incarcerated parents to maintain and rebuild relationships with their mothers and fathers. Since its’ inception 14 years ago, they have recorded and delivered over 9,000 video messages from imprisoned mothers and fathers to their children.
She branched out from her first company, “Women in Transition,” an organization that assists women leaving prison and re-entering the “outside” world, to create “Message,” because she saw an enormous need for children to maintain a bond with their parent or parents. For “Women in Transition,” Carolyn does free-lance work for national television, Fortune 500 companies, and film work for major clients for “Women In Transition.”
She knows her stuff. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice show that approximately 2.7 million children have one or both parents in the criminal justice system. That’s a lot of people and Carolyn’s videos of parents reading or talking to their children on camera is often the only means of communication available for families of incarcerees. Separated by states, sometimes thousand of miles apart, these people often have no way to see or talk with each other for years on end. She has told me that the children watch the videos over and over and over again.
In 2008 Carolyn was named a CNN Hero for her advocacy in supporting this very vulnerable population. One of the findings of a 2009 study in Idaho was that children of imprisoned parents are at greater risk than their peers. Carolyn’s organization seeks to maintain, and rebuild relationships within families, with an eye to preventing children from adopting antisocial and/or criminal behaviors. In fact, their new slogan reflects this core purpose. It is, “Creating Messages. Mending Hearts. Re-Building Families.”
Most recently Carolyn has expanded her program to include children in Malawi. She is conducting a similar program there, and the stories are incredibly moving, especially stories of children born to mothers who are in prison. These babies sleep on the ground without blankets, sheets or anything, and they have very little clothing.
I volunteered to help film a few years ago, and, to this day it was one of the best experiences I have ever had. The men who were filmed were so grateful for this opportunity and I came away with a new lease on life. It felt so very good to participate in something that would make someone so happy.
I intend to help again!
For more information about Carolyn and “Messages,” you visit her website at
http://themessagesproject.org and you can “Like” Messages on Facebook.