Every year, Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program provides the children of prisoners with gifts on behalf of their incarcerated parents. With the help of churches, church coordinators, and volunteers, these kids are reminded that they are loved by their mothers and fathers behind bars, and that they have a Heavenly Father who provided them with the ultimate Christmas gift—a Child, born in a manger, who would take away the sin of the world.
For over 30 years, Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program has been providing children Christmas gifts on behalf of their mothers and fathers in prison, as well as a simple message about God’s love and forgiveness. Through Angel Tree, families have been restored, kids have been encouraged, and the Gospel has been proclaimed.
With Christmas just a few weeks away, thousands of Angel Tree children are still unassigned. This means that boys and girls in your own community may not get to unwrap a gift from their mom or dad in prison and hear the Good News of our Savior. Will you help share the joy of God's greatest gift to us this season?
On Dec. 2, 2014, the world comes together to give. Join Prison Fellowship as we participate on #GivingTuesday to support our mission to change the lives of prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families through Jesus Christ. We ask our friends, donor, fans, and followers to remember the prisoners on the first Tuesday in December.
If you haven’t looked at a calendar recently (or, in the case of much of the country, looked out the window or walked to your car in sub-freezing temperatures), winter is fast approaching, and Christmas is just around the corner. And here at Prison Fellowship, that means the Angel Tree Christmas program is well underway, helping to provide gifts—and hope—to children on behalf of their incarcerated parents.
In the conversation about building safer communities, it’s easy to get caught up in the big topics: record-breaking incarceration rates, headline-grabbing crime trends, and large pieces of criminal justice legislation.
But it’s often the littlest ones among us who are hurt the most by crime.
Don’t look now, but the holiday season is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, immediately followed by the retail-driven Black Friday and Cyber Monday, encouraging people to go out and start making their Christmas purchases.
And then there is Giving Tuesday.
Thanks to our generous partners, My’lon and Montrese know that they’re loved, and that they have a friend in Jesus, who will never leave them.
A version of the following post originally aired as a BreakPoint commentary.
It was back in 1997, when I was practically a kid writer here at BreakPoint, that I first heard about Prison Fellowship’s amazing Angel Tree program.
I was moved by how much Chuck Colson and the Prison Fellowship staff poured themselves into making sure that thousands and thousands of prisoners’ children received gifts at Christmas time.
This past winter, Russell connected with another group of people who needed his help: the 2.7 million children in America with an incarcerated parent.
Rocio remembers it like it was yesterday. “One day there was a knock on our door,” she says. When she answered, a volunteer from a local church told her that he had been sent on behalf of her husband and Angel Tree. “He told me he had gifts for our kids from their daddy,” Rocio recalls.
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Preschoolers AJ and Butchie witnessed a harrowing scene in the courtroom; if it had ended there, these two little boys would have faced a future without hope or promise. But Angel Tree supporters helped rescue them and turn their hearts to their parents.
A Minnesota family finds hope by sharing Christmas with a prisoner's child.
Angel Tree has been a ministry of Prison Fellowship for 30 years. What began as a small outreach to prisoners' children in a Birmingham, Alabama, mall has grown to be a ministry that brings Christmas gifts and the Gospel to thousands of children across the nation. And the ministry is about more than gifts. It is about building redemptive relationships between churches and hurting families. But to really understand the value of the effort, it is important to understand the world of an inmate's child.
Your local Angel Tree program can change lives all year long as it helps your church create a supportive home for hurting families, where they can experience the transforming power of Christ.