Former prison officer, Roberta Bell, 58 from Vicksburg, Mississippi has recently come to public notice for her selflessness and compassion. Roberta, a grandmother to five of her grandkids, shared the story of her unique experience at the Louisiana Women's Transitional Center where she used to work.
During her tenure, she came across an inmate, Katie Bourgeois, who was pregnant and soon to give birth, but without any family who could care for the baby. Katie, helpless yet brave, turned to Roberta for assistance. Despite the risk, Roberta didn't hesitate and decided to take in the baby, standing up to her supervisor who warned her that her choice presented a conflict of interest.
Roberta said, "When the hospital calls me to come get that baby, I'm going. If that costs my job, so be it." A week after she was fired, she received the call that Katie's baby boy, Kayson, was born.
"I started taking pictures. He was so precious," shared Roberta. She took care of the infant for two months until Katie was released from prison in July and came to get her son. Now, little Kayson is reportedly in foster care and doing well.
Word about Roberta's kind deed spread, and her old living room began filling up with donations, including baby essentials and a staggering sum of $90,000. Roberta, who had taken a sorting job at a food distribution firm following her termination, used part of the money to aid another inmate during her time of need.
"God provided so much stuff," Bell expressed. Feeling the need to do much more, she is now in the process of creating 'Serenity House', a transitional home for women coming out of prison. With her services, she wishes to continue encouraging them to turn over a new leaf.
"As I see it, the prison did more than fire me. They handed me a blessing," Roberta concluded, constantly looking forward to facilitating positive change in as many lives as she can.