Get Involved with Letters for the Inside Project!

Get Involved with Letters for the Inside Project!

By: Sabrina Azaria
  4918 reads

Have you ever heard of the Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group, or simply, SFPIRG? If you haven’t, and you’re interested in more volunteering opportunities and ways to get involved in your community, then read on!

According to their website SFPIRG is a student-funded and student-directed resource center dedicated to social and environmental justice. This non-profit organization was established on Burnaby campus back in 1981, and its mission is “to engage students in social and environmental justice.” SFPIRG has many useful and accessible resources for SFU students, and because the organization is funded through your tuition ($3.00 from full-time students and $1.50 for part-time students), every student who has paid their tuition fees is a part of SFPIRG. Students have access to free workshops and events, various volunteer and research projects, the SFPIRG library that has a collection of nearly 7500 books and articles on social and environmental topics and many more. In this article, however, I would like to focus on one of SFPIRG projects: Letters for the Inside.

Letters for the Inside (LFTI) is a “nationally-recognized project where student researchers respond to research requests from prisoners.” This project hopes to increase prisoners’ access to information, provide better quality of their lives and assist their transitions back to the community. LFTI also aims to “reduce the stigmas associated with prisoners, as well as build bridges between those on the inside and the wider community.”

Personally, it sounds like a great project to me – something that can give its volunteers a unique and eye-opening experience, as well as a chance to help others in need. If you become a volunteer, you will respond to prisoners’ letters and answer their requests on diverse topics such as song lyrics, educational opportunities or health issues. You will receive a full training beforehand, and you just have to email to sign up!

Now let me ask you fellow ENGAGE blog readers, have any of you heard about this project before? If not, does this interest you? Or maybe some of you have been or are part of LFTI? Let me know in the comments!

Sabrina Azaria is an undergraduate in Communications with a minor in Publishing and (hopefully) a certificate in Italian. She loves reading and traveling, and currently volunteers for the third Indonesian Film Festival in North America.

Posted on February 20, 2013