One Christmas years ago, friends of mine prepared to celebrate the holiday with their preschool child. They wrapped up dozens of Christmas gifts and lovingly labeled each one, ďFrom Santa.Ē On Christmas morning, they watched as he gleefully opened all his presents. Then, he turned to his parents with a puzzled look, ďDidnít you give me anything?Ē
My friends had overlooked an important point. Children may dream of Santa, but they need gifts from their parents.
Yet for children of incarcerated parents, that gift may never come. Nearly two million children in the United States have one or both parents in prison. Most have little, or no, contact with the absent mother or father.
Imagine their disappointment at Christmas time, wondering if theyíve been forgotten.
But you can make a difference in a childís life and help a family find joy through Angel Tree ministries.
Angel Tree, a division of Prison Fellowship Ministries, has delivered Christmas gifts to children of incarcerated parents since 1982. In 2011, Angel Tree ministries provided nearly a half million children with a present delivered in the name of the absent parent. More than a gift, Angel Tree delivers the parentís love.
Many wonderful organizations deliver gifts to needy children during the holidays. But a gift delivered in Christís name has a greater impact.
Your Angel Tree gift brings hope to the entire family. The children receive affirmation of their parentsí love. Parents learn that others care about them and their families. Many hear for the first time about the love of Jesus.
Since each family connects with a local church, a congregation learns to be Christís hands and feet in a lost and hurting world. The church establishes a relationship that keeps sharing Godís love all year long. What a blessing to know that your gift can keep on giving even after the holiday is over.
Isnít this something you want to be part of this Christmas?
We celebrate Christmas because we have received a gift. As the birth of Jesus carried the gift of love to us, you can also bring a gift of love. You can be that person who brings joy to a childís life this Christmas. A donation of just $12.58 will help two children be joyful this holiday season.
For the past 30 years, Angel Tree has helped thousands of children connect to their absent parent. Many more could be reached with your help. Make a donation to help a lonely child.
No child should feel forgotten at Christmas time. Wonít you help?
Christmas is almost here. Please contact Angel Tree ministries today.
Read more articles by Gayle Prettyman or search for articles on the same topic or others.