Melania Trump Club

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas gifts to children of incarcerated parents

Think buying Christmas presents for one child puts the squeeze on your wallet? Imagine six.

But that's what Janice Bishop's been doing for the past eight years since taking in her six grandchildren, whose mother and father are incarcerated. Beyond the holidays, Bishop has been providing for their every need, including clothes, school supplies and basics like food and shelter.

Helping Bishop over the holidays and throughout the rest of the year is His Prison Ministries.

"They call us the Brady bunch," she said. "We love coming here."

The ministry works with local women who are incarcerated and also helps their families, helping provide basic needs and support for the caretakers of children of incarcerated parents. At Christmas, the organization collects gifts for the children on behalf of the mothers.

"It basically lets the kids know that your momma didn't forget you," Christie Wimes, assistant director, said.

This year, nearly 200 children will receive Christmas presents from the program. Wimes said the program is helpful to both the children and their caretakers, who in most cases are grandparents and other family members.

Wimes said creating a sense of normalcy is important for the children, who have endured a major disruption in their lives because of their parents' incarceration. Wimes said these children must deal with the consequences of their parents' actions, and are often bullied at school.

"It's an esteem issue," she said.

Lamarcus Bishop, 12, visits his parents every other weekend or so. He says seeing them in prison makes him sad, but his face lights up when he talks about the Christmas gift program.

"The hard part is waiting until the 25th to open them up," he said.


No comments:

Post a Comment