A gift of hope and love for the children of prisoners
Madison and Lucy’s Story
When Madison* and Lucy’s* mum went to prison, their whole world fell apart.
“They went through hell and back, those two girls,” says Janine*, their Nan. “They lost their mum. That was the biggest challenge of their whole life.”
Christmas should be a joyful time of year… especially for children like Madison and Lucy. But sadly, this day of family celebration can break little hearts across Australia because it is just another painful reminder that they’re separated from their mum or dad who is in prison.
So imagine a child’s excitement at receiving a beautiful gift from the very person they are missing!
“The girls were getting picked on, because their mum was in jail,” explains Janine. “Madison started fighting at school, and Lucy didn’t want to go at all. She just put herself in a shell and closed up because she’d lost her whole life.”
But as bad as school was for the girls, Madison and Lucy’s homelife was far worse. Because when their mum was sent to prison, they were left in the custody of a violent and neglectful father. “They did not get to be children at all. They had to be grown up,” says Janine. “Lucy, at the age of nine, had to do all the house cleaning and figure out what her little sister was going to eat. My family would take food over for the girls, and he’d let all of his junkie mates eat their food. They’d ring me up and tell me, ‘We are so hungry’. It was disgusting. It broke my heart. No kid deserves to live like that. Never. No kid at
It took 18-months of “nonstop” fighting, but eventually Janine was granted custody of her granddaughters.By that stage, she says, these little girls had stopped looking forward to Christmas day… because when they lived with their father, they woke up to no presents on Christmas
morning. That’s why she’s so grateful for the generosity of supporters like you who make the ministry of Angel Tree possible. Because you helped to make Christmas special for these girls once more.
“When I took them to visit their mum, they wore stunning Christmas dresses with glitter and stars all over them. She hadsomething for each of them,” Janine remembers. “And it was like, ‘Mum got us some presents while she’s in jail!’ They thought it was the most wonderful thing, because mum still cared. It meant the world to those two girls. And it made me feel proud that my daughter loves her girls so much.”
“You’re letting these children know, ‘Your mum is still here for you’. You’re giving that kid hope that someone they love can sort their life out… You’re giving someone like my daughter hope that they can be a better woman and a better mum when they get out.”
You can bring joy to children and restore families with your $30 Angel Tree gift this Christmas.
Your generosity will help Prison Fellowship provide a special gift for a child like Madison or Lucy in the name of their mum or dad in prison so they know they are loved and remembered.
And with just another $10, you can help deliver an Angel Tree gift to a child living in a remote Australian community… so they don’t have to miss out!
Healing little hearts
On Christmas Day, up to 8000 children in Australia open a present from their father or mother who is not there with them – they are in prison.
Angel Tree keeps the connection alive between a child and their parent in prison.
Each year, inmates have the opportunity to nominate their child to receive an Angel Tree gift on their behalf. With your help, Prison Fellowship collects and delivers the presents to the children, ready to open on Christmas morning.