This is not the first place you think of when you hear the word “smiling.” In fact, it’s probably the furthest thing from it.
But for Clint Tittsworth, the walls of the Allred Prison chapel have almost become a second home.
“He finds time to interact with everybody and he’s always smiling,” said assistant warden Arlene Franco.
“I think the real thing that helps us is that we really see that people have needs,” Tittsworth said. “They have really difficult needs sometimes and it makes us reach really deeply into understanding how best to help them and not just try to be superficial about it.”
Tittsworth has been volunteering at Allred Prison for 21 years. Three to four days a week, he makes his way through security in an effort to help the men often forgotten by society.
“We’re trying to help them get through the kinds of things they experience when they’re isolated from those experiences,” he said. “If they have a death in the family, they are isolated.”
“They talk to him and just getting them to smile and say good morning or good afternoon or have a good day means a lot,” Franco said.
That’s why we’re paying it forward to Tittsworth, so he can help build his ministry at Allred — and continue to provide the both the prisoners and guards with relentless optimism and his trademark smile.
“It gives you a sense of accomplishment,” he said “You’re making a difference in the spiritual realm and sometimes in the physical realm.”