CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - You've probably heard of the cartoon duo "Tom and Jerry". But there's a human duo with the same names in Chesterfield changing the lives of prisoners one cookie at a time.
As part of their church ministry, Tom Ryan and Gerry Fuss spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen.
"We have a lot of fun," Gerry Fuss said. And they have fun baking cookies.
"We believe there is power in the cookie," said his partner Tom Ryan.
Cookie power is part of the Kairos ministry at Bethia United Methodist Church. It's an international ministry that began at the church back in 2000. Fuss and Ryan are coordinators in the ministry heading up about 30 volunteers and going into the Greensville Correctional Center in Powhatan for a four-day weekend to share conversations with the prisoners over plates of homemade cookies.
"It's kind of an ice-breaker that gives them an opportunity maybe just to kind of relax a little bit, sit down, and enjoy a cookie," Ryan said.
"We take about 3,500 dozen cookies with us," said Fuss. "That's our calling card."
And that calling card opens the door to discussing all types of topics. "Making choices. Making good choices. What it means to be part of a church," Ryan said.
The volunteers check in with the prisoners at least once a month and they establish prayer and share groups within the prison so the conversations keep going once the volunteers leave.
Fuss says this is all just to let them know somebody loves them. And they love them enough to share their cookies like any good friend would do.
The church's Kairos ministry also caters to the Chesterfield Women's Prison on Courthouse Road.