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Hope City Church to host Angel Tree Event Friday

By Laura Austin News Review Staff Writer–  For the past five years, Celebrate Recovery (CR), a faith-based 12-step recovery group, and Prison Fellowship have partnered in a fantastic way to serve the children of incarcerated parents.

Friday, Dec. 1 at 6 pm., Hope City Church (formerly RCA church) will host an Angel Tree Event with volunteers from all faiths.

The group will gather at  Hope City Church and host local families and children to participate in a Christmas event. The event provides an assortment of activities for the children of incarcerated parents.

The group stated that it is rewarding for them, as volunteers, as they watch the children enjoy playing games, making crafts, and opening the gifts with the name of their mom or dad on the tag.

There will be fun, food, fellowship, and presents. Thirteen children, ages two to fifteen, will be guests of honor at this event.

The children’s names have been nominated by their incarcerated parents behind bars, then their names are given to Prison Fellowship Ángel Tree personnel.

From there, they assign the children to volunteers who live in the same locality.

The volunteers guide children in activities such as writing letters, creating gifts, and an opportunity to tell Santa their Christmas wishes.

Christmas gifts are given to each child on behalf of incarcerated parents, as well as lots of love and encouragement from the group.

The gifts are purchased with funds given through the generosity of local people and businesses and Hope City Church.

The group does this because they feel we all need a little help now and then in life, and where better to do this than in a child’s life, encouraging hope and healing with all of their family members.

Several years ago, Celebrate Recovery, a biblically balanced approach to help bring sustainable recovery and healing, forged a partnership with Prison Fellowship Angel Tree. This organization allows local congregations to extend the hope of the Gospel to families with loved ones in prison.

In 2019, The Ridgecrest Calvary Assembly Church (RCA) began holding Angel Tree Parties with their local Celebrate Recovery group.  They heard a message from James D’Amato (who worked nationally with Celebrate Recovery Inside and now works with Prison Fellowship) at the CR Summit. They were compelled to see how they could bring some joy to local kids with incarcerated family members. After seeing the joy on their faces, the church decided they would make it an annual event.