WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2016—For the 2.7 million American children with an incarcerated parent, Christmas is bittersweet as they are separated from their imprisoned parent—often by more than 100 miles.
Nearly every fourth Tuesday of the month, a shabby batch of bicycles arrives at the gates of Folsom State Prison.
Members of the Cameron Park Rotary Club collect the misfit bicycles from a warehouse in Diamond Springs, California, and send them off to Folsom to be repaired, repainted, and restored.
For most people familiar with it, talk of Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program brings to mind images of Christmas presents and seasonal parties with cookies and carols playing in the background. So you might be surprised to know that summer is a very busy time for Angel Tree and its mission to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the families of prisoners.
A version of the following interview originally appeared in Inside Journal, Prison Fellowship’s quarterly publication for men and women behind bars.
Nationwide, one out of every 28 kids has a parent behind bars, resulting in many separated families. Since 1982 Angel Tree, a Prison Fellowship program started by a former bank robber, has given parents an opportunity to restore and strengthen relationships with their children.