Angel Tree Extends into Summer to Reach 12,000 Prisoners’ Kids
Published: May 24, 2006 | 4229th good news item since 2003
Angel Tree is a familiar name heard during the Christmas season, but Prison Fellowship is extending that season after seeing the need to provide prisoners’ children with love all year long.
This summer, the prison ministry is adding “camping” to their sun-filled days in an effort to reach 12,000 kids for a life-changing experience.
Angel Tree Camping is a Christian camp designed to give children whose parents are incarcerated a chance to hear the message of Jesus’ love and other Bible stories. Prison Fellowship is partnering with local churches to send kids off to weeklong overnight camping.
According to a news release, 9,000 children have already been signed up to attend camp this summer. Churches are working to help surround the most at-risk group in America with a positive environment that includes camp counselors, recreational activities and the Gospel message.
Prison Fellowship reports that prisoners’ children are five to seven times more likely to end up in prison one day. A 2004 publication by Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents found that there are nearly 2.8 million children with a parent who is incarcerated in the United States jails and prisons.
One child, whose father is in prison, attended last year’s Angel Tree Camp where she expressed her gratitude for the loving experience.
“Thank you so much for your donations,” she wrote to Prison Fellowship. “Without you, I would not be here learning about Jesus or having fun. I love meeting new people and making new friends. I am hoping to get to know Jesus so I can be a true blue Christian! Thank you for giving me the chance to come to such a God-loving camp like this. I hope I can come again next year!”
To support the thousands of children eagerly waiting for the one week adventure, churches in the children’s communities have already raised much of the involved costs. Prison Fellowship, meanwhile, is working with foundations and other efforts to raise the needed support to cover the rest of the expense as it aims to provide scholarships for 550 children.