SOS Radio & Hope for Prisoners Throw 50 Christmases for Children with Incarcerated Parents!
110 children were reunited with their incarcerated parents in Las Vegas last Thursday at 50 Christmases! SOS Radio partnered with Hope for Prisoners to give children who often feel forgotten during the holidays, a family Christmas experience. 50 individual living room settings were setup at The Crossing Church and inmates were bussed in from prison. Imagine a sofa, coffee table and love seat setup around a fresh cut, decorated Christmas tree for each individual family!
The children were greeted by their parents and for one night, these children were able to spend quality time with their family, celebrating Christmas. Many of the inmates told us they had not seen their children in person for 3 years! Here’s video of those stories: https://news3lv.com/news/local/christmas-family-reunions-a-first-step-toward-a-second-chance
“I remember having lunch with Jon Ponder 5 years ago brainstorming how we could provide a Christmas experience that felt like home for inmates and their children,” says Scott Herrold, SOS Radio’s morning host. “We didn’t want to just set up tables in the chow hall of the prison, we wanted to set up individual living rooms for each family to celebrate, just like at home! We started with 15 families 5 years ago and have grown this event to serve 50 families this week!”
Listeners of SOS Radio and members of The Crossing church poured out support by the arm loads, donating hundreds of bikes, toys and thousands of dollars in gift cards for children with incarcerated parents. The SOS community donated the gifts, but the parents were able to picked out specific gifts for their children before they arrived at the party! (The parents got all the credit for the gifts & bikes!)
Hundreds of volunteers made 50 Christmases possible. Some wrapped gifts, others assembled bikes, prepared dinner, moved furniture and kept the hot chocolate flowing all evening. “Our heart is to help heal division in Nevada and our SOS Radio community is full of problem solvers,” says Scott Herrold, SOS Radio’s Morning Show Host. “We want to make our state a better place to live. The statistics suggest 70% of children with incarcerated parents will end up in a similar situation if the community doesn’t intervene. We believe in second chances and we know that family reunification is almost as important as a well paying job when someone is released from prison.”
Here’s video from 50 Christmases this week that shows all the smiles on these kid’s faces! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgZJoYacj50