“Why would anyone want to buy Christmas presents for the kids of some crackhead?”
This was Ashley’s first thought on seeing an Angel Tree poster on the prison landing where she was serving time.
Three years before this, as a result of her drug addiction and violent relationships, Ashley’s children had been removed from her care. Filled with guilt and shame, she spiralled deeper into addiction and self-harm, turning to crime to fund her habit. “I did everything I could to either forget or punish myself,” she says.
That’s how her life of crime landed her in prison. That autumn, when Ashley spotted the Angel Tree poster, she couldn’t believe anyone would do something nice for her without wanting something in return — that there were people like you who would want to buy Christmas presents for her children.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect to hear anything back,” Ashley explains. “So when I did receive a card saying that the presents had been sent to my children — not just random gifts but things I had suggested — a piece of my hardened heart began to crack.”
“Those gifts were the first my children had received from me in years. Not only did they soften my heart, but they also brought hope to my children.”
You see, thanks to people like you who believe that no one is beyond hope no matter what they have done, and so give regularly to our ministry, God’s love was at work in Ashley’s heart!
Each Angel Tree package costs just £20, including postage and packing. Last year, you blessed over 4,500 children with a gift from their parent in prison. And we’d love to see that number grow this year! From Tuesday 27th November, we have a chance to do just that! Thanks to a group of generous philanthropists who will match every gift you make until our “pledge pot” is empty, your donation is doubled for free.
At this special time of year, you are giving a child with a parent in prison an incredible gift — a Christmas present from their mum or dad.
The seed planted in Ashley’s heart in prison began a process of radical transformation in her life. Today, she is not only out of prison, but has also been clean for five years. On top of that, she has a steady job, and — most wonderfully — has regular contact with her children.
There are many more prisoners like Ashley — more families that are hurting this Christmastime. But, with your faithful support, we see the ripples of love growing, and generations impacted forever.
P.S. From midday on Tuesday 27th November, until Tuesday 4th December, your donation will be doubled through the Big Give’s Christmas Campaign – double your donation, double the joy!