Until We’re All Free: Holiday Commissary Fundraiser

THANK YOU! Because of your generous donations to our 2021 Until We’re All Free Holiday Commissary Campaign, we were able to give $120,000 to help trans people in prison or ICE detention. These funds were distributed as direct bail or commissary support through our six amazing partners.

We are grateful for our caring community that believes a world without prisons and cages is possible. We’ll keep working towards that world until we’re all free.

Our 2022 Holiday Commissary Campaign will launch in the fall. Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates in your inbox.

Breaking Free - 2021 Until We’re All Free Fundraisers

2021 Grantee Organizations

Drawing of two birds perched on a chainlink fence, holding a red and pink heart between them.
Hearts On A Wire
Philadelphia, PA
My Sistah’s House
Memphis, TN
Trans-Forming Logo
Trans(forming)
Atlanta, GA
Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM
TRANScending Women Logo
Transcending Women
New Orleans, LA
Trans-Formations Logo
Transformations
Kansas City, MS

About the Fundraiser

Trans Lifeline’s holiday commissary and bail fundraiser, now in its fourth year and titled Until We’re All Free, began in 2017. When we provide material support for folks who are incarcerated in prison or juvenile detention, they are able to reclaim their dignity and autonomy through access to food, care items, gender-affirming clothing, and phone calls among other necessary items.

Most of the corporations that operate prisons charge exorbitant fees to deposit money in prisoners’ commissary funds, literally profiting from the confinement of human beings. To distribute these funds, we partner with organizations doing direct support to trans folks on the inside in their communities. Over the last four years, the cohort of organizations we have worked with was heavily shaped by our existing professional relationships, as well as our own desires to respond to the flares of violence enacted upon our communities by a ruthless and immoral administration.

In moving towards the vision of trans liberation and a world free of policing, we uplift and support those who are most impacted by the systems of white supremacy. In the U.S. these systems of power and domination can be seen in the widespread incarceration of Black and brown, trans and gender-nonconforming communities. We are intentionally funding the work of organizations and communities who are led by and have always centered Black and brown trans folks—taking care of their own.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made this fundraiser feel especially urgent. With limited access to inadequate health care, nonexistent protocols for slowing the spread of the virus, and increased social isolation, our trans siblings on the inside can’t wait any longer for the carceral system to protect them from harm when it is designed to do exactly the contrary.

Illustration of a shaving razor and shaving cream

$10

Buys a trans person on the inside a razor and razor gel.

Illustration of a laptop and an envelope, representing the concept of email

$30

Allows a trans person on the inside to exchange one electronic message a day with a loved one for a whole month.

Illustration of cosmetics

$60

Buys a trans person on the inside one month of cosmetics from a commissary.

Illustration of a corded telephone surrounded by hearts

$110

Covers a month’s worth of phone calls home to loved ones.

Illustration of a money bag

$500

How much one commissary grant costs and the average cost to bail someone out.

Illustration of a hand holding an ID card

$1,700

How much it costs to legally change a trans person’s gender identity inside ICE detention.

Hand-drawn illustration of a destroyed cop car with flowers growing out of it. Barbed wire appears above and below the cop car.

Further Reading

Show me the money: Tracking the companies that have a lock on sending funds to incarcerated people — We looked at all fifty state departments of corrections to figure out which companies hold the contracts to provide money-transfer services and what the fees are to use these services.

Learn who profits from the prison industry — Private companies make hundreds of millions of dollars each year off of incarcerated people. These profits come at the expense of incarcerated people being able to maintain contact with their communities. A system that exploits instead of rehabilitates incarcerated people is one reason that 68% will eventually return to prison.

Who Pays? The True Cost of Incarceration on Families — The True Cost of Incarceration on Families proves that the costs of locking up millions of people is much deeper than we think. Locking up individuals also breaks apart their families and communities, saddles them with overwhelming debt, and leads to mental and physical ailments. The situation is dire, but a better approach is possible.