Monday, November 17, 2014

Giving Back on #GivingTuesday

Don’t look now, but the holiday season is right around the corner. Thanksgiving is only two weeks away, immediately followed by the retail-driven Black Friday and Cyber Monday, encouraging people to go out and start making their Christmas purchases.

And then there is Giving Tuesday.

What is Giving Tuesday?

In the midst of all the craziness of holiday shopping, Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, people from around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

With so many worthy charitable causes deserving a donation, to whom should you give, and how? You can give to one cause or you can give to many. You can give $10 or 10 hours of volunteer work. The point is to give something so that others will be blessed by your generosity.

On December 2nd, we ask that you consider giving to Angel Tree.

Angel Tree is simple: Incarcerated parents sign up their children to receive Christmas gifts. Church volunteers deliver these gifts on behalf of the parents. What makes Angel Tree unique is not only that children, many of whom would have no Christmas otherwise, receive a toy truck or a doll. It’s because the gift they receive is from daddy or mommy. These kids know that even though mom or dad is behind bars, they are loved and not forgotten.

Your donation will also help encourage the local church to be involved in the lives of these children all year long. Here are some important facts you need to know about Angel Tree and why supporting these children are necessary.
  • Approximately 22 percent—more than 300,000 annually—of all children of incarcerated parents in the United States receive Christmas gifts through Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program each year.
  • Each year, volunteers from some 7,800 churches nationwide help brighten Christmas for children at home while their parents are in prison.
  • During the past 30 years, Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree volunteers have delivered more than 17 million Christmas gifts to more than 9 million children of prisoners nationwide. These gifts are presented to the children on behalf of their incarcerated parents.
  • Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree has expanded to connect the children of prisoners to a local congregation year-round, providing a variety of activities throughout the year such as summer camping , mentoring, back-to-school outreach, and support for caregivers.
  • Since 2001, some 75,000 children of prisoners have attended summer camps through Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program.
  • Since a mentoring component was established in 2004, more than 5,000 children have been mentored through Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program.
A child in your community might need a gift this Christmas. But Angel Tree is about so much more than providing gifts. It’s about reconciling the families of prisoners, and we need your help badly this year. Your gift of $20, $50, $100, $500 or $1000 on  Giving Tuesday can make all the difference in sustaining our work and making a prisoner’s child Christmas wish come true. I can guarantee that.

To find out how you can support these families of prisoners, click here.

(Article originally posted on

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