Tonya-Rivens-2015 (2)

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office houses approximately 1,500 inmates in the county jail. These inmates are citizens who have been accused of breaking the law. As we approach the holiday season, many of us are fortunate enough to enjoy family, friends and the spirit of Christmas, which is LOVE.  But what happens to those incarcerated on Christmas Day?

For years, two local ministries have donated socks and soap for distribution to inmates. Socks and soap may be the only gifts these citizens receive, not only for Christmas but in life.

Jail is not a pleasant place. Some former inmates will tell you that being incarcerated was their “come to Jesus moment” or their “life-changing experience.”

The county jail maintains a cold temperature, which is why I want to add T-shirts to the Christmas tradition there.


A friend pointed out to me that inmates are in the jail because they did something wrong. Still, does that mean we should forget about showing them love?

One item — a T-shirt — may sow a seed of love. We can plant that seed with a prayer that inmates will understand the spirit of love and forgiveness. A lady at my hair salon shared that while she was incarcerated, one of her biggest highlights was receiving her Christmas box on Christmas Day.

Can you support a campaign to collect T-shirts to distribute on Christmas Day to Mecklenburg County inmates? Please join me by supporting some citizens who will be unable to join their families for Christmas 2015. The requirements are as follows:

  • Plain, white underwear T-shirts. WHITE ONLY
  • Men sizes, large sizes, L to XXXXXL
  • No logos, print, writing
  • No V-necks
  • Deadline: Dec. 9, 2015

If you or your ministry is interested in supporting Tonya’s T-shirt campaign, volunteers will pick up your donations. Please call 704-227-8034.

Tonya Rivens writes a faith column for Her career in gospel radio in the Charlotte market include stints as music director, program director, community affairs director and on-air host...