COVID-19 UPDATE: As America continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, Prison Fellowship continues to work tirelessly to serve prisoners and their families in the most effective ways possible. Prison Fellowship is in constant evaluation of the best way to help children who have a parent in prison. One thing we know for certain: the boys and girls need Jesus. As you prayerfully consider a gift today to support our programs for children across the country, I want to assure you that your donation will be put to maximum use.
ABOUT ANGEL TREE CAMPING
For many children of prisoners, some of the basic rites of childhood—like spending a week away at summer camp—are out of the question.
Every summer, thousands of Angel Tree® children get the opportunity to attend a Christian summer camp with the help of Angel Tree churches and friends like you.
Camp can be one of the most life-changing experiences that children of incarcerated parents can have. Camp gives the child an opportunity to have fun, fellowship with their peers, build relationships with caring camp counselors, and to experience the love of God in the great outdoors.
The camping experience gives the children the opportunity to strengthen their relationship with God. At camp many children will make a first-time decision to trust in Jesus Christ or deepen their commitment to Him. And the growth that begins at camp is reinforced and nurtured when your church provides follow-up support for the kids after they return.
GIVE CAMP TO PRISONERS KIDS' NOW!
For prisoners' children, camp is a safe place to get away from their problems, experience the great outdoors, make new friends, and just be kids. But most important, at Angel Tree camp, prisoners' kids hear the Gospel. Give the gift of camp to a prisoner’s child today.
"There are so many great things I've learned about God. It's brought me so close to Him."
—ZOEY, A CAMPER FROM MISSOURI
"It's a really cool experience to come to a place where you can have fun but learn about God at the same time."
—ASHLEY, A CAMPER FROM MIRACLE RANCH
"Thanks to you, I accepted Christ at that camp."
—DUPREE, A CAMPER FROM COLORADO
NEGLECTED DAUGHTER FINDS HER PLACE
"I never really understood my story until probably about a year ago," Kerri says.
Both of Kerri's parents struggled with drug addiction and her dad spent most of her childhood in and out of prison. She and her siblings were often in foster care—"at least a few times, probably like two or three," she says, "maybe more." When she was able to live with her parents, the experiences left her feeling neglected and unloved.
"My dad would hide in the basement," Kerri recalls. "We weren't allowed to go into the basement because it was his area. Or my mom would be in her room with the door shut, and we weren't allowed to go in there."
The actions of her parents were hard to bear. Kerri felt that she was unwanted, even unlovable: "I didn't have someone in my life that truly cared about me."
THE NAME OF JESUS
It was at camp that Kerri first met Jesus.
"I was really angry my first couple of years [at camp] because I didn't feel love at home," Kerri shares. "I didn't know who God was, who Jesus was." Kerri had only ever heard the name of Jesus used as a curse word. "I was really confused. I was like, 'Why am I coming to a place where people are saying God's name in vain all the time? This doesn't make any sense.' "
But Kerri kept participating. And over the years, she began to realize just who this Jesus was that everyone kept talking about. And then one day something clicked.
"I just realized I want to be all in for this Jesus," Kerri says.
It was at camp one summer in high school that Kerri first knew she was loved.
"We were in the chapel," she recalls. "We were all singing … I had never experienced a moment like that … just a group of people singing for God and His joy."
She remembers how the camp counselors, her mentors, told her they loved her, and even more importantly, that Jesus loved her, too.
Today, Kerri is an Angel Tree camp counselor. As she approached the end of her time as a camper, God "tugged at her heart" to come back as a staff member. She is now able to use her story to share the love of God with others who are just like her.
"Thank you so much, Angel Tree," Kerri says, "for not only changing my life, but changing all these other kids' lives and bringing a broken community together and making it whole."