Great Things Start Small


“To succumb to the enormity of the problem is to fail the one.” ~ SHE Rescue Home


Yesterday, I had the privilege of sharing the story of Children of Inmates (COI) at the Florida Department of Children and Families’ 2015 Child Protection Summit in Orlando, Florida. Jada Hunter and I could barely believe that 200+ people had registered to attend our session. When COI began eight years ago, many people in the child welfare field told our team that it was going to be impossible to positively impact the lives of children with an incarcerated parent. Their needs were too complex.


We started anyway with one Florida Correctional facility. Since 2007, COI has served 2,500+ children in the State of Florida who have at least one incarcerated parent. We have logged over 5,000 child visits inside Florida Correctional Facilities. We now conduct bonding visits at twenty different Florida Correctional Facilities. Before entering our program, 90% of the children had not seen their incarcerated parent in three or more years. Some of these kids who began participating in COI eight years ago are still part of our “family”. In addition, we also shared how our program initiatives have expanded. Our new initiative “Babies and Brains” is educating incarcerated dads about brain science and how trauma negatively affects their young children’s brain development.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” ~ Mother Teresa


As we answered audience questions, I remembered the children who started school for the first time on September 2, 2015 at Light of Future School #3 in rural Kratie Province, Cambodia. A few weeks ago our Cambodia 2015 Mission Team provided 160 kids with their Year One curriculum, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and school supplies. For the first few months, the classes are meeting in homes and building offered by the villagers. The student tables were made with local wood by local carpenters.


When International Literacy Day is celebrated next year on September 8, 2016, 160 children will no longer be illiterate. They will be readers.


Small beginnings can be gamechangers.

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” ~ Napoleon Hill

About Linda Freeman

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Linda Pulley Freeman combines her specialized training in environmental and chemical engineering with her deep ministerial commitment as she serves mission fields at home and abroad.

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What People Are Saying

  • As you can imagine, I love this post. I am writing a piece about our prison running group, and one of my points is that the very first thing the women want to discuss is their children. Parents love their children and It is so great that COI gives that love a way to manifest itself despite the hardships.

    • Yes, the hardships don’t keep children from loving their parents or the parents from loving their children.


  • “Small beginnings can be game changers.” So very profound. As you know, I admire all the wonderful things you do and the great causes you share with us. xoxo, Brenda

    • Thank you, Brenda! xoxo,


  • I live on Marco Island and would be interested in volunteering with COI if you have needs in this part of the state.

    • Kay: Thank you! Could you email your contact info to
      We may need your help this fall and we are always looking to add to our volunteer base.


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