“I wake up every morning happy and go to bed happy because of the work I do,” says W. Wilson Goode, describing his work on behalf of Amachi, a mentoring program for children with incarcerated parents that he founded in 2000. He is not the only one pleased with the results. The former Philadelphia mayor was named one of five inaugural winners of the Purpose Prize, awarded by Civic Ventures, which aims to get older Americans busy confronting social problems.
Amachi, which was launched partly with Pew support, pairs children of prisoners with volunteers from local churches (see the article "Committed" in summer 2005 Trust). Currently, there are 271 programs in 48 states that use the model or were inspired by it, and they have partnered with more than 6,000 churches and served more than 60,000 children. (Amachi is a West African word that means “who knows but what God has brought us through this child.”)
Goode said his own father went to prison in 1954 and served three years for assaulting Goode’s mother. Goode, who was 15 at the time, says, “I think I owe something to other children who are similarly situated in life.”
For more, visit Amachi's Web site.