LANSDOWNE, Va.. – An estimated 2.3 million children have a mom or dad in prison. Angel Tree recognizes their need and each Christmas brings gifts to nearly 500,000 children nationwide. "This massive effort cannot be done successfully without the hundreds of thousands of volunteers and churches who contribute," said National Director Shelley Hayes.
"In recent years, it has been difficult to serve the children in Tennessee because of the insufficient number of participating churches," said Hayes. "Tennessee alone has at least 6,869 children of incarcerated parents who are available for the program, and only 115 participating organizations. Although a Christmas gift seems small, this gesture has the power of transforming these families and reconciling them to their prisoner parent and to their Father in heaven," Hayes said.
Angel Tree is a ministry of Prison Fellowship that reaches out to the children and families of prisoners. It gives imprisoned parents an opportunity to show their concern for their children by asking that the gifts be given on his or her behalf, said Prison Fellowship founder, Chuck Colson. "Over the years, God has orchestrated some wonderful family reunions through Angel Tree," said Colson.
"Angel Tree has been so important for my children and a blessing to me," said Nakitha Kendrick, who has personally experienced the ministries of the organization through her two daughters Shaniquah and Deontae. "There are lots of mothers out there like me, who don't know how Christmas will even be possible. When the children receive the gifts, it really does make them feel special, like someone does care."
Since 1982, Angel Tree has become active in all 50 states, and has given about 14 million gifts to more than 7.5 million children of prisoners worldwide. In these 25 years, countless blessings have been brought to not only children, but incarcerated parents and volunteers as well.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.