Susan Burton - Letter to friends!

Use the following letter to ask your friends, family and colleagues to support Susan Burton as CNN Hero of the Year nominee!

Dear Friend:

I'm excited.

There's not a lot of good news for those of us concerned about the staggering social consequences of mass incarceration. For so long, there seemed to be no traction in the popular media to get out the message that mass incarceration destroys families, lives and entire communities.

But now we all have a unique opportunity to draw attention to courageous women and men who are dedicating their lives toward reversing the devastating consequences of mass incarceration.

Susan Burton, founder of a New Way of Life, is one of ten finalists for the CNN Hero of the Year Award. Burton's life speaks volumes to both the tragedy of punitive approaches to drug addition and to the ability of the human spirit to transcend lifes' circumstances to become a beacon of hope for others. Having cycled in and out of prison for an addiction she developed in the aftermath of the accidental death of her 5 year old son, Burton not only recovered but committed her life to providing the support that so many women lack upon their release: a safe place to live, a loving support system, and guidance through the maze of re-entry challenges. Susan's story is about more than the 500 women she has helped. When Susan wins the Hero of the Year Award, attention will be turned to the needs of hundreds of thousands of women, men and children who struggle under the weight of incarceration long after prison terms have ended. Voices like Susan's can bring sanity to this headlong rush into inhumane and counterproductive social policies.

But Susan's voice can't be heard unless we all take a few minutes to lift up our own voices in support of Susan Burton.

Please take this moment to do to things. Vote for Susan Burton ten times right here: http://heroes.cnn.com/vote.aspx. Please do it today, tomorrow, the next day, and the next, until voting ends November 18th at 6am ET.

Second, please reach out to ten friends who will commit to doing the same. Use the 10 Reasons Fact sheet below to introduce your friends to Susan Burton and to let everyone know why this is such an important opportunity not only for Susan and the women she serves, but for all of us.