Jasmine's Place Issue No. 14 - December 2014 - Page 23

Prison Fellowship Volunteers “ Saved my life ”
Prison Fellowship ’ s mission is that every prisoner has access to support and prayer . We do this through our prayer groups , chaplaincy support and our programmes like Sycamore Tree , a victim awareness course that is run in prisons .
As Christmas approaches , Prison Fellowship volunteers jump into action across England and Wales to run our Angel Tree programme . Volunteers coordinate the fundraising , purchasing of gifts , wrapping and delivery .
If the parent wishes , a Christian story book is also sent with the present . Last year our volunteers sent out 4323 presents on behalf of 2519 prisoners in 78 prisons .
This year we hope to do more .
WHY DO WE DO IT ?
There are around 200,000 children in England and Wales with a parent in prison . 7 % ( around 1 in 15 ) children will experience their father ’ s imprisonment before they leave school . Sending gifts not only demonstrates God ’ s love for prisoner ’ s families but also helps strengthen family bonds which can help stop prisoners re-offending when they ’ re released .
We receive amazing letters and
phones calls from parents who ’ ve benefited from Angel Tree . I ’ d like to share one of those stories with you :
A mother of a young boy and girl had no funds to buy Christmas presents as her partner was in prison and financial resources were low . She was so depressed about the lack of money and the hardship of bringing up her children as a single parent she decided to take the kids to school , come home and commit suicide .
Before this mother took her children to school , the postman knocked on the door to deliver two presents sent from the father of the children .
These presents were sent through Prison Fellowship ’ s Angel Tree scheme .
The mother was so relieved she wrote to Prison Fellowship about the Angel Tree scheme saying ' thank you , you saved my life .’
If you would like to know more or get involved , please visit www . prisonfellowship . org . uk
or contact us on 020 7799 2500 .
Connect with us on Twitter : @ PFenglandwales
Written by Jon Rickard .
JASMINE ' S PLACE
23
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