Christmas is a tough time for kids who have a parent in jail. They often feel alone and are depressed.
To help alleviate some of those feeling and show the children they are loved, the Stacy Swimp Evangelistic Association and Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle are partnering to reach out to children of the incarcerated and their families with love and support this Christmas.
The Society of Minority Firefighters and Flint Fire Chief Raymond Barton are joining in with them to help bring joy to the children and their families.
They will hold an Angel Tree Christmas Party and Dinner for children of incarcerated parents on Dec. 20 in Flint.
“We all feel very privileged and thankful to have an opportunity to collaborate in sharing love with the children and their loved ones this Christmas,” says Swimp, CEO and president of Stacy Swimp Evangelistic Association and TheHUB Flint special projects coordinator and columnist.
Christmas gifts and games will be provided for the children, as well as food and entertainment. There will also be prizes for caretakers.
More than 100 local children will receive Christmas gifts.
However, the Christmas party is about more than just giving the children gifts at Christmas.
“We are also promoting reconciliation between the incarcerated parent and the child. Our ultimate goal is to help restore relationships and to heal the wounds caused by incarceration,” says Rev. Dr. Herbert Miller, pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle.
Several local officials will also be in attendance, including Flint CFO-Hughley Davis, Councilpersons Herbert Winfrey, Monica Galloway, Santino J. Guerra, Jeri Winfrey-Carter, and Maurice Davis.
“Having a parent incarcerated at any time of the year, but especially at Christmas time, really saddles a child’s life with loneliness and sadness,” he says.
Studies show that children of prisoners are more likely to become prisoners themselves one day. This disturbing trend has been a tragic reality in Flint, which has one of the highest rates of crime in the country.
More and more families are experiencing a generational cycle of crime. These group of local servant/leaders are working together to change that.
Sponsors include Elga Credit Union, HAP (Health Alliance Plan), Hughley Newsome, TheHUB Flint Magazine, Prison Fellowship, Ebenezer Ministries of Flint, McDonalds, Holy Cross Lutheran Church of Flushing, and numerous private donors.