Nonprofit hopes Texoma Gives will help them build chapel for inmates

A non-profit organization is working towards building a chapel at the James V. Allred unit, and hopes Texoma Gives will give them the help they need to reach...
Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 7:19 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 12:41 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - A nonprofit organization is working toward building a chapel at the James V. Allred Unit, and hopes Texoma Gives will give them the help they need to reach their fundraising goal.

The organization currently holds their services in small rooms, but due to attendance growth, they need more space to welcome inmates.

Organizers said a new chapel would solve many problems, because the rooms they currently use for services only have a capacity of 40 people.

Charles Grady, the chairman of the Allred Chapel Project, said sometimes they even host services in the gym, which holds around 180 people, but they still don’t have enough room to accept everyone who wants to be part of the service.

“There are many times as people sign up for different faith based programs they are simply turned away, because there is no room to accommodate them,” Grady said.

Volunteers have been working hard since January of 2020 to raise money for a new chapel at the James V. Allred Unit.

Grady has volunteered at the prison since 1996 and has seen first-hand how services from the chapel have helped inmates.

“It has been proven that through faith based programs, it drops down to 11% and 20% recidivism rates. It prepares them for when they get back in society to become part of society instead of working against society and ending up back out here,” said Grady.

Around 44% of prisoners without faith based programs will return to prison, according to non-profit One Man’s Treasure.

To begin construction on the new chapel, organizers need to raise at least $800,000 of their $1 million goal.

After two years of fundraising, they’ve raised $500,000, so they’re looking forward to Texoma Gives and hoping for more help.

“If we could at least get over our half-way point, which would be to raise at least $30,000. Now if we could raise an additional $300,000, we could actually start building,” said Grady.

He hopes the chapel will be able to transform lives and leave a longstanding positive impact on inmates’ home communities.

“You have to change the heart of a man to actually change the mind of a man. As you change the heart and the mind of the man you begin to see different behavior and that is what these faith based programs do,” said Grady.

If you are interested in donating, click here. For more information on the project, click here.