One nonprofit group is hoping to help 635 Tallahassee-area kids get holiday gifts this year, despite their parents’ being in prison.
The Christian nonprofit Prison Fellowship Ministries has run the Angel Tree program for nearly 40 years. CEO and President Jim Liske says this year, 23,000 prisoners across Florida have signed their children up to receive gifts. And demand usually exceeds the number of volunteers.
“Tallahassee has never been completely served by people in Tallahassee, that in all the years of Angel Tree, we’ve had to ask for help from other states to come help Tallahassee and the state of Florida care for all of the children that the inmates are signing up," he says.
Angel Tree is seeking groups or individuals to buy gifts for children on the list.
“Can you imagine going back to school in January and all of the other kids are talking about what their parents got them and your parent’s incarcerated and you can’t join in in that conversation?” Liske says.
He says whenever possible volunteers are matched with children in their ZIP code. That way, they can hand-deliver gifts and see the look children’s faces when they receive a present from their incarcerated parent.
Visit Angel Tree's website for information on signing up.