Christmas more enjoyable for families of convicts through Angel Tree programme
Christmas was made more enjoyable and memorable for the families of prison inmates through the Angel Tree programme which received financial support this season from CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank for the 21st consecutive year.
The bank’s recent donation to the Angel Tree programme, part of Prison Fellowship, went towards the purchase of food and beverage items for 200 hampers provided to families of persons incarcerated at HMP Dodds as well as the provision of refreshments for a party which the Angel Tree programme put on at HMP Dodds for about 30 incarcerated fathers and their children.
A grateful Thomas Watts of Prison Fellowship expressed his thanks to the bank for its continued support over the past 21 years. “CIBC FirstCaribbean has been the longest supporter of the Angel Tree programme. Without the bank and others who give we couldn’t carry on this programme ourselves. Even though there was a reduction in the level of donations from some corporate entities I am still grateful,” Watts said.
He added that he was overjoyed that the Angel Tree programme was able to host, for the first time, a party within HMP Dodds a few days before Christmas. “It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in this ministry. Children were able to hug and kiss their fathers for the first time in the prison itself. This was the most glorious time for me and it’s the best thing our ministry has done. I give God the honour and praise as well as all those who helped to make this happen.”
Richard Kennedy, Warrens Banking Centre Branch Manager, who made the presentation to Watts said: “The bank continues to support the work of programmes such as Angel Tree and others because of the positive and long-term impact they can make on the lives of families including youth. We really are our brother’s keeper and our involvement in the communities we serve reinforces this. It is our pleasure to help in any way we can.”
The work of Prison Fellowship continues into the New Year through, for example, assistance with back to school items for children. As a result of its ongoing work, contributions are needed throughout the year.
The fellowship, which meets every Tuesday, prays for those who support its ministry. “CIBC FirstCaribbean is one of our strongest supporters and we pray that God will give them the wisdom and understanding to carry on the good work,” Watts said.