Every year, we look forward to receiving letters from those who were touched by Angel Tree during the most recent Christmas season. Particularly, we love hearing from prisoner parents who express how Angel Tree helped strengthen or rebuild a relationship with their children. Earlier this year, we received a letter from a prisoner named Bill who says he was near desperation before Angel Tree volunteers delivered gifts to his children. But on February 11, everything changed.
Here’s what he wrote:
I wanted to let you know that you have helped me in a very special way. I have been locked up since 2010. I have two sons of whom I have not seen since my incarceration. Their mother and I have been separated before I came to prison, but this really severed any and all communication with her. I would write my kids every month with little if any response. I did not know what was going to become of my relationship with my kids. Being in prison is hard enough, but having kids and being in prison, well that’s enough to break any grown man. I have been signing my kids up for Angel Tree since 2012. I thought that if nothing else at least I could be a part of their Christmas through Angel Tree. However, this hope started to fade quickly at the beginning of 2016. With no visits or letters from them I was starting to question God on why He would let this happen. As a believer, I believe God is sovereign and he hears His children’s cries, but I really needed Him to move in this situation.
On 2-11-16, I heard from God. When I got back to my dorm, I saw that I had mail. It was a letter from my kid’s mother along with two pictures of my sons, along with letters from each one of them. It has been almost six years since I heard from her, and this is what she said:
Hey, this has been a hard letter for me to write. I even sat down in Oct, determined write it and decide if the boys would come to your graduation, but I broke out in shingles and was very sick for two weeks, that’s how much hate and resentment I was carrying around with me, but after the Angel Tree people came, it did something to my heart. At first I was resentful that ‘Angel Tree’ was bringing ‘my’ boys Christmas and I felt we did not need charity. But if you could’ve seen the joy it brought to them and the questions were, ‘How could daddy ever afford this? He must have been saving for a while and he knew exactly what we wanted! It melted my heart and I have chosen to forgive you … He (God) sent those people to relieve me of that hate.
She is going to bring them to visit me as well. God used the loving, caring people at Angel Tree to reconcile a father to his children. I thank you for your work and dedication in connecting incarcerated fathers to their children. May God bless you all!