From inside the prison cell, a parent looks out at rows of bars. Hopelessness runs rampant throughout the compound. How can a mom or dad provide Christmas from such surroundings? Maybe he has learned from Ezekiel 18 that his kids will not be punished for his sins, but that dad knows his children suffer nonetheless. The consequences of his actions affect his family; there will be no presents under the tree from an absent parent.
Mary Kay Beard watched moms wrap up gifts of soap and toothpaste to give to their own children on visiting day. She knew the heartache of those moms, because she was one of them. She was incarcerated for her own crimes of robbery. That was 30 years ago, and today, the program Mary Kay began for the children is a thriving ministry of hope through Prison Fellowship. By placing names on angel shaped ornaments on Christmas trees across the country, Prison Fellowship has extended an invitation to people of all walks of life to join in making a difference for the children. The first Angel Tree brought gifts and the power of the Gospel to 100 children. Today, more than nine million children have benefitted from the connection of someone who cared that they would have a Christmas.
This year, 1.7 million children represent families with a parent who is incarcerated. Would you donate to Angel Tree? With the recent passing of Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson, wouldn’t it be a perfect memorial to carry on his vision to transform lives? What if this could be the year every child of an inmate would receive a Christmas present? What if you could make Christmas sparkle for just one?
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