Angel Tree provides gifts to children who have parents in prison

Deliveries happening all this week
Posted at 6:25 PM, Dec 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-22 20:25:21-05

LONE TREE, Colo. -- For 2.7 million kids across the country, their stories this Christmas often include abandonment, loneliness and resentment because of a mom or dad in prison.

The Angel Tree program offers hope, kindness and love to those children, providing Christmas presents to kids who a parent in prison.

In the basement of Jubilee Fellowship Church in Lone Tree, you could call it an extension of Santa's workshop.

"[We're] giving back to families that have hardships,” said Jason Cole, a volunteer with Angel Tree.

"Our church members go out and buy the different gifts," said Angel Tree organizer Kurt Rogers. “For example, if an inmate has four kids, there will be two gifts per child, so there will be eight gifts."

It’s very personal for Kristen Cole.

"My dad's been in prison since I was 15 years old," said Cole. “I know him as a good man. He got 43 years in prison for conspiring to commit murder.”

“There’s no doubt those prisoners wish they could be home with the kids right now," said volunteer Ross Miller.

Miller is here with his family -- teaching his son and two daughters the importance of giving back.

"They have like their father or mother in jail and it's pretty rough for them,” said 8-year-old Ross Miller, Jr. “This probably lightens up their day."

The messages on the gifts say it all: “I hope you like this special gift on Christmas that was picked just for you. Love, Dad.”

“It's a blessing to me,” said Rogers. “It's scriptural."

And once all the toys and gifts are bagged, the volunteer families head out – like an army of Santa's elves -- going home to home to deliver the gifts.

“Merry Christmas, sweetheart," said Miller to a thankful little girl after giving her a present.

“We really, really appreciate you guys,” said one family member on the receiving end of Angel Tree.

"Our pleasure,” said Miller “Absolutely."

Miller said it’s often just as fulfilling to volunteers as it is to the children on the receiving end.

“They didn't have a choice in what happened to them," Miller said. “They deserve to have as much joy at Christmas as any of us.”


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