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Why we’re running from Stony Mountain Institution
How far is 21 kilometres? It’s 13.1 miles, a half-marathon distance: 2 to 2.5 hours of continuous running, or 3.5 to 4 hours at a brisk walk.
It’s also the distance to Winnipeg’s North End from Stony Mountain Institution, and we’re planning to run it on Sunday, August 11th, in support of the Bar None Prison Rideshare Project.
Stony is just one of many prisons and jails that are located in rural areas, miles from the nearest bus stop and way out of range and budget for a taxi. That means that often when people are incarcerated they are at risk of losing their most important connections – to their family members, best friends, and community supports. It also means that their children, partners, parents, and other loved ones suffer during their incarceration.
The Bar None Prison Rideshare is a completely volunteer-run project that offers free transportation to people looking to visit their family and friends in prison. Bar None’s goal is to help reduce the harm that imprisonment does to individuals and communities. You can read more about their work on their website, through their newsletter, or in the news.
From Andrea Geary’s November 23, 2018 Winnipeg Free Press article:
Winnipeg resident Rebecca (last name withheld) said she and her son, 10, and daughter, 5, have used the Bar None Rideshare service to visit her partner in the Headingley Correctional Centre about 10 times.
"The kids were so excited to see their dad," she said. "I’m very thankful for the service. They make it possible for our relationship and the kids’ relationship with their dad to continue while he’s away."
As we prepare for our big run from Stony Mountain in August, there are two ways our family and friends can support the rideshare:
Sign up to be a volunteer driver!
Bar None has a list of approximately 32 active volunteer drivers, making about 25-30 trips for 40-60 passengers per month, but the demand for rides is much greater, and they are rarely able to provide rides to everyone who asks. More drivers are always needed! Drivers are reimbursed for their mileage and sign up only for those rides they are available for and willing to give.
Drivers are asked to commit to providing at least one ride every two months. So it’s not a big time commitment (although you are certainly welcome to drive more often if you’re able), and it makes an enormous difference to those separated from their loved ones. You can learn more about becoming a volunteer driver by reading the Bar None Prison Rideshare Handbook and can sign up or ask questions by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donate money to the prison rideshare!
There are no paid staff in the rideshare, but there are still regular expenses – the most common one being fuel reimbursement for the drivers. Bar None spends about $600 per month keeping the rideshare going, and obtains those funds through small grants and ongoing fundraising. As Bar None is not a registered charity, they unfortunately cannot issue tax receipts.
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