Emmaus” program, then became aware of their passion to serve those who are in jail. While serving with the REC (Residents Encounter Christ) program at the Orange County jail, I became aware of their involvement with the ISO Ministry. While convalescing from surgery in 2016, my friend and neighbor, former ISO Board President Jim McElhose, began to visit regularly, and he told me about his involvement with ISO. Several months later he invited me to become a member of the ISO Board. At first, I was not sure of what role I might play, however, I soon learned that there were many administrative challenges to address.
Witnessing the passion and dedication of the ISO volunteers and other Board members for the ISO Ministry, I realized that God was orchestrating my part in the ISO mission and vision. With ISO operating on a shoestring budget, there were many opportunities to assist with fund-raising opportunities and publicizing the message.
There is no most memorable experience with ISO! There are many, and many are associated with the numerous fund-raising events similar to the most recent at the Rosen Centre. Witnessing the grace of God in melding the ISO family in taking active individual parts of the fund-raising task, to assure that they come together as a joint effort to provide a positive and memorable experience, has been an awesome experience. Also, speaking with and hearing the testimony of those ISO graduates who have made a successful transition to the community reinforce my belief in the success of the ISO ministry.
ISO primarily needs volunteers to be part of both the “Inside the jail education operations” and the “Outside Transition/Re-entry operations”. Volunteers are the core of ISO ministry efforts. Associated with that need, ISO is seeking additional Church and Business Partners to support the ISO mission.
ISO funds from donations support various portions of the mission. First, there is currently only one fulltime salaried person in the ISO ministry. Having noted that, there also have been very tight budget times, when even that salary has had to be reduced or even suspended when inadequate funds were available. Next, funds are expended for specific contract requirements such as data management support and grant writing, typical administrative requirements such as paper and printing, insurance, education and training expenses, payroll taxes, scholarships for program entry, program expenses, and logistic support such as transportation and temporary housing. ISO has also been fortunate enough to receive grants in the past, although no grants were received during 2019, to develop a new data system and the translation of ISO material to the Spanish language to support the numerous ISO Spanish speaking jail residents in the Central Florida community."