The mailing of Loaves & Fishes Issue 24 in September generated a lot of incoming prisoner mail. Most of the mail simply requires data entry, but some of it takes letter writing or pen pal management, etc. Here is a picture I just took of the incoming mail bin:
The Lord has blessed us in allowing Jimmy Weaver to join the team here. He has done well in learning our software and workflow, and is looking forward to spending more time here after he retires in December.
Jimmy and I usually get the orders ready for the post office, and we take mail in once or twice a week. Some days it’s mostly a bunch of envelopes containing booklets and tracts, but occasionally we also have a handful of boxes to mail to new chaplains or someone replenishing their inventory.
Since the beginning of Loaves & Fishes, we have not given our single subscribers expiration dates. Every mailing produces undeliverable returns because of moves and releases, and we thought the prison mail rooms were returning the majority of our bad addresses. It seemed sufficient to use this method to keep our list “clean”.
Eventually, we began to realize that a majority of the older addresses on our Loaves & Fishes singles list are dead because the prisoners have moved and the mail rooms didn’t bother telling us.
Our irregular publishing schedule made it impossible to send advance renewal notices, and we weren’t sure how to manage the whole thing. We discussed this problem of bad addresses a lot, and even considered no longer mailing single subscriptions—forcing everyone to get Loaves & Fishes from chaplains.
Finally, we arrived at a solution that allows us to keep sending singles while maintaining a fairly clean list. We have begun enforcing one-year subscriptions with free renewals. However, instead of mailing an expiration notice before the expiration date, the notice is printed on the first issue mailed after the expiration date. Essentially, subscribers get a year, plus an issue. This logic works perfectly with our sporadic publishing schedule.
We’ve also revamped the subscription form and only put it in some of the booklets. Now we can naturally throttle down new single subscriptions from certain places.
In this last mailing, we expired all the subscriptions older than a year. So far, we have received hundreds of renewals, but our singles list will only be a fraction of what it was before.
If we were to print the next issue now, we would need 91,000 copies and it would cost us $14,500 (about 15% less than the previous printing).
Pray for wisdom as we prepare Issue 25 and work through the challenges of sending mail to the prisons. Also pray for the funds we need to get this issue printed.
For the Kingdom,
Our readers want to thank you for the gift of Loaves & Fishes.
“I look forward to every issue and pore over every word. I find that others give me strength as they share how they deal with the same things I go through.”
Cheryl Gasper • Bedford Hills Correctional • Bedford Hills, NY
“This is my first involvement with the Lord, and I would like to continue with the help of your booklet. Thank you.”
Roy Reschke, TX
“I really enjoy reading yall magazine because I’ve been incarcerated for 9 years now. I can truly understand and relate to the different inmates in yall magazine.”
Henry Oliver McKinnon, FL
“Just want to say thank you for Loaves & Fishes. It’s so helping me to let go of my madness.”
Vallient C Moore, CA
“I want to thank you for a subscription of Loaves & Fishes. It has really made a difference in my life here in prison.”
Michael Johnson, TX
“Tonight I was blessed to receive my first copy of Loaves and Fishes. Just glancing through the pages, I can see that this magazine is full of good spiritual food. Thank you for adding my name to your mailing list. I will share my copy of Loaves & Fishes.”
Z. L. King, IL
“Thank you for the Loaves & Fishes. I love the messages from everyone. I read them to my bunkies. I am not the old person I used to be.”
Felicia Heard, TX
“I am currently serving 90 years at Suwanny CI in Live Oak, FL. I am interested in subscribing for your free offer of Loaves & Fishes magazine. Thank you very much and God bless.”
Donnie Wheeler, FL
“I like your Loaves & Fishes magazine very much and look forward to its coming every 3–6 months. Thank you very much.”
V Reno Jr, OH
“I would like to thank all who has a part in publishing this booklet.”
Jeffery Arnold, AL
“I love what you all do. It’s a wonderful thing. People don’t cherish such things as a small paper now, but I know many who do. Thank you all very much for your work.”
Chad Hatfield, TN
“Thank you for not forgetting us who are in prison.”
J Rena Renee Perez, NV