In December of last year, we brought you the story of Joe Calderon and his mother, and how her incarceration inspired Joe to create the mobile app Pelipost that allows friends and family to send photos to their loved ones in prison.
On August 8, Pelipost will host "Love Your Inmate Day," a day dedicated to showing the incarcerated that they are loved and supported. I recently got in touch with Joe to learn more about "Love Your Inmate Day" and to catch up on what's been happening at Pelipost this year.
Emily Greene: First of all, how are you and your mom?
Joe Calderon: Mom and I are doing great. Early this year, Mom was promoted to chief operating officer of Pelipost. In addition to overseeing our order fulfillment processes, she now heads our customer service support team. She deals personally with our customers to ensure their satisfaction with our service.
Together, she and I work closely to continue to deliver a smooth and efficient processing experience, especially now that we are printing and shipping over 1,000 orders a day!
When we last talked, Pelipost was preparing to contribute 10 percent of its December profits to Angel Tree®.
What was that experience like?
That experience was absolutely rewarding. As an entrepreneur, it feels so fulfilling to be able to help others and share some love, especially when it involves children. I still remember the feeling of loss that I felt when seeing so many young children visiting loved ones, [which is] why I chose to donate to Angel Tree.
Since December, what has Pelipost been up to?
Any new developments?
We are excited to announce that Pelipost is growing at a record pace! We are taking on the challenge of this growth, while continuing to deliver exceptional customer service.
My main role as the CEO is to oversee and develop new projects to expand our offerings to our users. We are currently in the process of introducing our new greeting card service. In June, we debuted our Father's Day greeting cards and sold out in a few days. We are excited to begin implementing all holidays, birthdays, and more.
Another exciting addition is Pelipost's new facility rule and regulation database. In an effort to minimize orders being rejected, we are compiling a giant nationwide database. We are already seeing a drastic reduction in returned orders!
Last but not least is our "Love Your Inmate Day" promotion.
What is "Love Your Inmate Date?"
The idea came one day when my wife and I were and she got a Facebook notification on her phone that it was National Friend Day. The notification had a short highlight video of her and her Facebook friends. That's when my wheels starting turning … I thought, "Wouldn’t it be nice to have a day dedicated to your incarcerated loved ones."
I assumed someone was already doing this, but I thought perhaps Pelipost could partner with them. To our surprise, we found nothing like this out there.
I naturally felt that Pelipost had to take the lead on this. So we created "Love Your Inmate Day" as a day to show our incarcerated loved ones that they are supported and loved, even while they are away.
What are Pelipost's goals for this special day?
Our goal is that this day can spread to all organizations all around the world, so that we can promote unity amongst different organizations.
How can Prison Fellowship's readers participate in this event?
Our biggest project is going to be the Digital Dedication Wall online. Go to the site www.loveyourinmateday.com and order our official "LOVE NEVER GIVES UP" bracelet. After that, take a picture with your bracelet and send it to Pelipost with a dedication message to your loved one.
To learn more about Pelipost, visit their website.