Sentinel-Echo.com

Features

December 26, 2013

‘Generosity of Strangers’: Angel Tree ministry helps children separated from parents

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Christmas can be a hard time, especially if you have to spend it away from a loved one.  In those times, people often have to rely on family to make things a little easier and occasionally, the love and generosity of a total stranger.

For the last 11 years, First Baptist Church in London has participated in a very special ministry, the Angel Tree program, to share the love of Jesus Christ and to help make the holiday season a little brighter for these families.

The church held their annual Angel Tree party on Wednesday night, inviting around 60 children and their caregivers to join them for food, fellowship and presents.

The Prison Fellowship Angel Tree program was founded by Chuck Colson in 1976 for the purpose of reaching out to the children of inmates and their families at Christmas, a time when families should come together.

“I heard about Angel Tree on the radio several years ago, on K-Love, and I felt like God was speaking directly to me. I thought, ‘we need to do this,’” said Kim Smith, director of children’s ministry at FBC.

Through the nationwide program, prisoners sign their child or children up to receive Angel Tree gifts. Through the registry, children are connected with a church in their home area, and that church calls the children’s current caregiver for permission to purchase Christmas gifts for them.

Families can refuse, but according to Smith, not many do.

Each child gets two gifts — one gift of clothing and one toy. The gifts are said to be from the parent, Smith said.

What is perhaps most special to children who participate in FBC’s annual ministry is the personal message to the child written by their incarcerated parent.

Charlie Brock has been participating in the program his whole life.

Text Only
Features
Facebook
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

How do you celebrate Easter?

A. Celebrate with the fellowship at church.
B. Have a meal with friends and family.
C. Egg hunts with the kids.
D. All of the above.
     View Results