Prisoners’ children are three times more likely than their peers to have some involvement with the criminal justice system according to one research study. The reality is often assumed to be much higher than that; having a mom or dad behind bars can be like a weight around the ankle of a child trying to stay afloat, burdening him with risk and dragging down his own expectations of who he can be in life.
At the 11th annual Angel Tree Football Clinic on Aug. 27, Prison Fellowship and the NFL Alumni of Northern California joined forces to give more than 200 at-risk kids, ages 7 to 13, an unforgettable day away from such stresses and pressures. At a facility in Redwood City, California, around 100 volunteers and professional football players and coaches spent a sunny Saturday doling out encouragement, affirmation, and solid advice on how to tackle a quarterback—and life.
Watch the moving video about their inspiring day here:
For the many volunteers who came to help, from registering excited children as they arrived to passing out bottles of cold water to the thirsty, it was a wonderful way to continue the Angel Tree ministry their churches already do at Christmas.
A volunteer named Sheila, whose brother was a professional football player, does Angel Tree Christmas every year at her church. She couldn’t pass up an opportunity to be at this year’s clinic.
“I get to see kids surrounded by love and by people who care,” she beamed.
Watching the children go through drills under the coaches’ direction, Michelle, another volunteer, summarized the partnership between Prison Fellowship and the NFL Alumni well, saying, “It’s neat to see the community really come together.”