When Mark was just 7 years old, his dad was incarcerated.
Because the prison was a three-hour drive away and Mark's family was too poor to afford the trip, it was almost impossible for Mark and his father to maintain a relationship. In fact, Mark wondered if his dad had forgotten him.
But that's not what he thinks anymore. You see, last year Mark's dad signed him up for Angel Tree®, a program of Prison Fellowship®. And at Christmas, Mark's eyes lit up as he opened his gift, a brand-new, beautiful basketball.
YOU SHOWED MARK THAT HE WAS NOT FORGOTTEN
For a boy who loves sports, it was a perfect gift. But Mark didn't remove the basketball from its box. He never played with it, even though basketball is his favorite sport. Instead, Mark placed his brand-new basketball on a shelf in his room, next to some of the trophies he's received.
"It's just a reminder of how much my dad loves me," Mark explains. "It's a reminder of how special it is to me."
Mark doesn't get to see his dad very often. But whenever he looks at the basketball on the shelf in his room, it's almost as if his dad is there to give him a giant hug. Even a glance gives him hope that one day, when his dad comes home, they'll be able to have a close relationship.