What we offer
Practical help with pen pal-ships:
- We offer information about the state in which your pen pal lives. The state sheets are kept up to date. Each state sheet has a member responsible for it. This person can be contacted for answers to questions about the state. Important state developments are published in our Newsletter. The state sheets are available on our homepage in the members only section. We have state sheets for Texas, Florida, California, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oklahoma and Georgia.
- Our pen pal coordinator is the contact person for both members and prisoners, should problems arise.
- Sale of money orders: By far the least expensive way to send money to a pen pal is with money orders. We sell them at no extra cost. Money orders are otherwise only available in the USA.
- Sale of stamps: For those members who are permitted to send stamps to their pen pal, we sell US stamps. These and also the money orders can be ordered with a special form. The form is available on our homepage by “members only / money”.
- A weekly press review is sent out in English via email. Whoever does not want this service can cancel it. The news come from the abolish list and is spread only by lifespark.
- A Newsletter, which presents different themes and gives advice, is sent out three times a year. Each edition includes the names and addresses of Board members and other active members.
- E-mails with news about the death penalty in various states can be ordered from Ines Aubert. The reports come from Rick Halperin and are forwarded only by Ines.
- We regularly update a list of books and films dealing with the death penalty.
Meetings - organisational and informative:
- In addition to the Annual General Meeting, different meetings are held, not only for organisational matters, but also for information exchange.
- Regular local meetings are held, at which new and old members can get to know each other and talk in an informal atmosphere. All meetings are voluntary.
- If there are questions or problems, members can always contact the regional coordinator. She will try to help and may also involve other members of the Board and organisation if necessary.
- Members are contacted whenever the name of their correspondent appears on the list of the execution dates. Personal help is then offered.
- When your pen pal has an execution date you can ask our members by e-mail to light a candle on that particular date and time. Contact Cornelia Steinemann for more information about how to proceed.
- Members, who would like to hear what others think about a particular situation in the pen pal-ship, can set up a “call” by e-mail, asking everybody to share their opinion or experience.
- With some of the money from membership fees, we support local activism against the death penalty. So joining lifespark helps fight the death penalty.
- We make our own public statements by setting up information stands, by speaking to the press and other activities. lifespark members can join us in these activities or plan and carry out their own.
Material for stands, school visits and other public activities:
- We have suitable materials for information stands, school visits and other public activities and they are available for members to use: Information sheets about lifespark, a lifespark flag, a wooden model of a cell in Texas, etc.
- In case you are interviewed by a journalist, we can provide you with an information sheet with tips.
- Flyers for a particular pen pal can be sent out to our members, as long as the Board has given its permission. The same goes for events, petitions, etc.
- The homepage contains information for interested outsiders, but also for members.
In the following sections our members can publish material:
- "Reports and interviews": Members or inmates describe experiences with their pen pal, the first visit, the approaching execution, etc.
- Our member Ursula Corbin owns a travel bureau and has a lot of experience with visits in different states. She is always happy to help with travel plans and details. See the address list in the Newsletter.
For those who want to do more than writing letters, there are numerous possibilities with lifespark: writing an article, organising events, contacting the media, starting projects...there are many ideas. Please contact the Board.
lifespark Membership per year:
CHF 50.- or the equivalent in EURO
Postal account: 40- 3416-1, lifespark 4000 Basel