FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of children whose parents are incarcerated within the Broward County jail system will receive gifts from those parents this holiday season thanks to the generosity of parishioners who participate in First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale's Annual Angel Tree tradition.
Since the Angel Tree began in 2007, more than 3,000 area children have benefitted from this year-round prison fellowship outreach program, which during the holiday season also includes a festive Christmas party for the kids complete with food, crafts, entertainment, worship, letter-writing and pictures with Santa that are sent to the inmate(s).
This year, First Presbyterian plans to provide gifts to 275 children through the generosity of its congregation members who choose "angels" from a decorated Christmas tree and commit to purchasing a toy or an article of clothing not to exceed $25. These gifts are in turn given to the children in their parents' names; in many cases, these children haven't been able to visit their parents for a period of months, and sometimes even years.
"Having a gift from their absent parents under the Christmas tree helps to maintain their parental connection," explains Dick Anderson, Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church. "Incarcerated parents – who meet with prison fellowship outreach members regularly throughout the year – are so very grateful for this opportunity to maintain a spiritual link with their children during the holidays. One inmate even began donating a portion of his prison earnings to First Presbyterian in appreciation of our efforts."
For additional information about First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale's Angel Tree program or its prison fellowship outreach efforts, please visit our website at www.firstpres.cc or call the church office at (954) 462-6200.
About First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale
Founded in 1912, First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale is located on the banks of the New River in the historic Colee Hammock neighborhood in downtown Ft. Lauderdale. With more than 1,800 members, and a strong core of volunteers, First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale prides itself on offering something for everyone, regardless of age. Since 1947, First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale has operated Happyland Day School, a pre-school for ages two to Kindergarten that provides a quality Christian environment for the children of the community. Adult, youth and children choirs as well as youth groups offer ample opportunity for fellowship at any age. An Adult Activity Center is open to senior citizens and features weekly lunches, entertainment and monthly bus trips. First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale offers two regular Sunday services as well as special worship services held throughout the year to commemorate significant days. For more information, please visit the website at www.firstpres.cc.
Laurie Menekou, (954) 271-4666 ext 0 (or)
SOURCE First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale