Not long after being hired at Chick-fil-A, Katie met Angela, a hardworking mom who took Katie under her wing almost immediately. "She [showed] me how to do things like the register and serving the customers," Katie remembers.
"[Angela's] very bright, very fun, energetic, [and] she's very sweet," Katie says. "And she's not afraid to correct you but in a way that it's easier for you to take it."
But it wasn't until the holidays that Katie realized she and Angela were connected in an even stronger way.
It wasn't until the holidays that Katie realized she and Angela were connected in an even stronger way.
'I REALIZED IT WAS MY DAD'
"One day I heard [Angela] talking about how a man, a nice man, had come and delivered Angel Tree® gifts to her house for her kids," Katie says.
Angel Tree is a Prison Fellowship® program that serves incarcerated parents by giving them a pathway to restore and strengthen relationships with their children and families.
At the mention of Angel Tree, Katie's interest was piqued. She asked Angela for more details—who had delivered the gifts? What did he look like?
Katie put the pieces together rather quickly. "I realized that was my dad who had delivered the gifts that night," she says.
'I realized that was my dad who had delivered the gifts that night.'
BRINGING MINISTRY TO LIFE
Katie's father is Tim Robison, executive vice president of administration and operations at Prison Fellowship. As a family, the Robisons have participated in Angel Tree for many years.
Katie was surprised when she realized her father had brought the Angel Tree gifts to Angela's children. "We had delivered gifts to many people, but we've never really heard from really any of the other families," Katie says, "so this was the first time that I was actually able to connect with a family who[m] we had delivered to, which was really exciting."
"My kids have been a part of the Angel Tree since they were babies," shares Angela. "They're now 12 and 13 years old. And I've seen God move through them every year since then, and He's been nothing but wonderful."
This experience has brought Katie and Angela closer than before, and it's brought their families together as well. For Katie's family, it also gave them a chance to see God changing lives firsthand.
"Prison Fellowship served nearly 300,000 children [in 2016]," Tim says, "and literally hundreds of churches and thousands of volunteers could have been the connection point to this particular home. But God selected our family to get to know this family and to see ministry come to life in a remarkable way."
"I'm very grateful that the Angel Tree exists because had it not, a lot of kids would not have Christmases," says Angela. "Angel Tree is a blessing, and I love it. I hope it stays around forever so that everybody else can enjoy it as well."
'Angel Tree is a blessing, and I love it. I hope it stays around forever so that everybody else can enjoy it as well.'