Here’s how the La Salle community can spread holiday cheer

November 18, 2022
Jesse DiMeglio, ’23, writes a letter to an incarcerated artist in the Justice Arts Coalition’s national network. She and UMSS invite the campus community to do the same during a Dec. 6 event in the Union.

Through letter-writing, Explorers can send season’s greetings to a national network of imprisoned artists.

A small act of kindness—like writing a letter during the holidays—can have a meaningful, lasting impact.

For the second straight year, members of the La Salle University community will write letters to nearly 500 incarcerated artists across the country in the hope of spreading good will and holiday spirit. University Ministry, Service, and Support (UMSS) invites students, faculty, and staff to the Dec. 6 letter-writing event in the Union’s Music Room, from 12–2 p.m.

The program is organized in conjunction with the Justice Arts Coalition (JAC). Based in Maryland, the volunteer-led nonprofit provides education, advocacy, companionship, and compassion for artists who are either currently or formerly incarcerated.

Want to help? Register to participate in the Dec. 6 event. All the materials you need will be provided by UMSS.

The only ask, according to Jessica “Jesse” DiMeglio, ’23, is to write a letter that uplifts and inspires those who are possibly the loneliest and most vulnerable during the holiday season.

“The artists in the Justice Arts Coalition community are some of the kindest and most altruistic people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know. They give so much with their art and time; the hope is to give them some warmth in return,” said DiMeglio, a communication major from Ewing, N.J. “This time of year can feel particularly lonely for a lot of us. That feeling is heightened when folks are put at a physical distance from family and loved ones. We want to remind the JAC artists that they’re being thought of and held close in community.”

The Christian Brothers have a long history of working with adjudicated populations,” said Regina Gauss Kosiek, ’01, M.A. ’18, director of university ministry at La Salle. “This partnership with the Justice Arts Coalition allows members of the La Salle community to support incarcerated individuals during a time of year when loneliness and darkness are most striking. Jesse’s dedication to bringing this work to campus is indicative of both her tremendous capacity for compassion and an understanding of what it means to be Lasallian.”

—Christopher A. Vito