Angel Tree: A Perfect Christmas Gift
The highlight of the Christmas season
for my son, Adam and his wife Amy, is to purchase Prison Fellowship
Angel Tree® gifts for the children of a prisoner, and deliver them in
the inmate’s name.
Usually, they meet with the kids in
person, but this year they gave the gifts for Alex, aged 5 and Xavier, 3
– to their grandmother who will give them on Christmas Day. Alex will
receive building Legos, a Veggie Tales Christmas DVD, and a winter
jacket. Xavier will receive a toy truck, and a coat as well.
With each gift was a warm
personal message to each boy from his dad (written by Adam). Both also
received a coloring book to learn that Jesus is the real reason for the
Why is this important?
Children of prisoners are
much more likely as their peers to go to prison themselves because of
their exposure to their own parents’ poor choices. A gift, given in the
name of the imprisoned parent, helps to melt the walls of isolation,
abandonment and anger those kids feel.
There are 1.7 million
children of prisoners, whose average age is 8. They learn about “Angel
Tree®” gifts from Prison Fellowship volunteers, usually organized by
churches. This year, about 370,000 children of convicts will be touched
by this wonderful ministry, a slight decline perhaps due to the
A majority of both fathers
(57 percent) and mothers (54 percent) reported never having had a
personal visit with their children since going to state prison. Why?
About three-fifths are confined more than 100 miles from their home.
What difference does the
Lisa’s father has been in
prison as long as she can remember. And for almost as long she has been
receiving Christmas presents from him through Angel Tree® The clothing,
her favorite journal and other gifts were always a very special part of
Lisa’s holiday, but until a short while ago, the only connection being
nurtured was the one between her and her dad.
Then, last year, Lisa
celebrated her tenth birthday. She was old enough to be invited to a
Christian summer camp by Judy, the Angel Tree coordinator at a church in
“I put together a backpack
with goodies in it and drove her to camp,” Judy says. “She was very shy
and would hardly talk to me when I tried to talk to her.”