The First Chance Network Receives Two-Year Grant to Build Holistic Support for Children with an Incarcerated Parent
Prison Fellowship®, the nation’s largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, has received an additional $1,250,000 to support Prison Fellowship’s First Chance Network, which uplifts children with incarcerated parents, from the Walmart Foundation.
Since 1982, Prison Fellowship Angel Tree® has served hundreds of thousands of children each year through thousands of church and community organizations. We witness firsthand the disheartening facts and figures related to this group of children, from higher poverty rates to a greater likelihood of becoming involved in the criminal justice system. Through no fault of their own, children with an incarcerated parent face persistent gaps in opportunity and exposure to enrichment.
Our vision is to create a collaborative network of corporate, philanthropic, community, and faith-based organizations working together to address these gaps and provide a meaningful first chance. Preventing children with an incarcerated parent from entering the justice system is just a baseline measure—improved life outcomes and human flourishing is the ultimate goal.
At Prison Fellowship, we celebrate the work of thousands of nonprofits and churches innovatively serving in this space. In addition, we salute the companies and organizations that seek to create equity for young people facing hurdles to success. While extraordinary strides are being taken in this arena, some families and young people impacted by parental incarceration are unaware of the service options available to them. And some organizations struggle to connect with those they hope to serve.
That’s why Prison Fellowship, with support from the Walmart Foundation, is continuing to build the First Chance Network, bringing corporate, philanthropic, community, and faith-based partners together to share best practices and shift mental models of how children with an incarcerated parent are perceived and equipped to thrive.
“Prison Fellowship is uniquely positioned as the leading faith-based organization equipping local churches, corporations, and other organizations to come alongside prisoners, the formerly incarcerated, and impacted families and children to provide both first and second chances, said Heather Rice-Minus, Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives with Prison Fellowship. “We are so thrilled to continue our collaboration with the Walmart Foundation and the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity to expand the network of corporate, community, and faith-based partners—working together to help kids move from vulnerable beginnings to victorious futures.”
“The Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity focuses on addressing systemic racism in the U.S., including in the criminal justice system. By collaborating with the Prison Fellowship, we can provide youth with incarcerated parents opportunities and resources to help them thrive,” said Marvin D. Carr, Director of the Walmart.org Center for Racial Equity.