Ministry aims to help inmates

BALDWIN — The Forgotten Man Ministries has helped hundreds of incarcerated individuals since the group was formed. This Christmas the members are trying to provide a gift to every inmate at the Baldwin Residential Reentry Program and Lake County Jail.

The organization was formed four years ago and works to provide spiritual assistance to those who are locked away in local jails. They do this through Christian teaching, uplifting programs and providing entertainment.

"It's a non-denominational ministry which works out of Grand Rapids and focused on providing help to those in county jails because they are often forgotten," explained group leader Robert Ziebarth. "I volunteer as chaplain for the RRP and Lake County Jail. We share the Gospel and help any inmates along the path if they want to become a Christian or work to become a better Christian."

The group is currently gathering items such as candy, cookies and fruit to include in gift bags which will be delivered on Wednesday, Dec. 16, to the more than 250 inmates residing in the RRP or the Lake County Jail. They hope it will improve the spirits of those in those facilities and give them hope for the future.

"Every year we provide a bag with snacks, gifts and Christian reading material to inmates," said Ziebarth. "Most of these people are going to be incarcerated during Christmas and away from their families. Getting something for the holiday reminds them there are people out there thinking about them."

The group has several other projects which they provide to prisoners at other parts of the year. This includes giving them stamped but blank cards they can send out on Mother's Day, bringing in motivational speakers and organizing movie nights and concerts.

"Many local businesses and individuals in Lake County have already stepped up and contributed to our mission," remarked Ziebarth. "We want to get more people aware of the ministry. It's a ministry working all year round with a very important goal: to show those incarcerated how someone cares for them and wants to provide them with help."

For those interested in joining or contributing to Forgotten Man Ministries, please contact Robert Ziebarth at (231) 923-8244.