Rapper/reality TV star Clifford ‘T.I.’ Harris is no stranger to doing good in his community but this time he joined forces with and New Birth Missionary Baptist and Love & Hip Hop’s Scrapp Deleon.
The trio coordinated their efforts to bail out 23 nonviolent offenders for the Easter holiday.
The group of nonviolent, mostly “first-time” offenders were bailed out thanks to a partnership program with the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia.
New Birth’s senior pastor Dr. Jamal Bryant said of the initiative, which helped raise an estimated $120,000 against its initial $40,000 goal:
“It’s almost like finally meeting the good Samaritan—somebody who you don’t know that you didn’t see coming.”
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church partnered with Tip as well as Scrapp Deleon of VH1’s “Love and Hip Hop” and initially sought to raise $40,000 to bail out nonviolent, predominantly first-time offenders but by the end of Lent, they had reached $120,000.
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Saturday was an amazing experience I had the honor to partner with Dr. @jamalhbryant for #BailOutDay he and @newbirthmbc set a goal of 40k to release inmates behind bars for Non Violent offenses. He exceeded his goal and raised 140k and used part of the money to set up a trust fund/college fund for the kids at #CitizensTrust bank. The released inmates were ever so thankful. Take a minute to check out what I had to say..
According to Fox5 News, their efforts were enough to bring 7 women and 16 men home for Easter Sunday.
After being accused of stealing a car, Anthony Gordon expected to spend the rest of his weekend in the DeKalb County Jail. But just before the holiday, he recalls hearing over the intercom to “pack it up” since he was on his way home.
The program came as a complete surprise to those of whom it bailed out as Gordon recalls he questioned the officers who told him it was time to go.
“I came back down, and I hit the little intercom and said, ‘Are y’all sure you’re calling me,'” he said.
Tyron Pollard, another one of the individuals bailed out by the program, told Fox 5:
“For people to just reach out, willing to help out of the blue, them not knowing you from nobody […] that’s a blessing.
I was doing drugs before I got locked up […] but I don’t want to do nothing but do right and strive to be a model citizen for my kids.”
For the record, the “Bail Out” program will extend well beyond the weekend. In fact, New Birth is connecting each individual with a mentor for weekly check-ins.
They’re also using a portion of the donations to jumpstart college savings for the children of returning citizens, like Pollard.