TDCJ Volunteer Services December 2013 Newsletter

Texas Department of Criminal Justice Volunteer Services

Volunteer Services Newsletter December 2013

Texas Citizens Help Brighten the Holiday Season for 35,000 Children Of Incarcerated Offenders


Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree is an for opportunity for offenders to provide Christmas gifts for their child while incarcerated.

Offenders are given an opportunity to sign up for the Angel Tree through the Chaplain or Prison Fellowship volunteers usually during the months of August, September,  and October. Offenders provide the name, address, age, gender of the children to ensure the child receives the  appropriate gift.  Additional the offender (parent) can write a note to the child on the application.

Local churches  receive the application, purchase, wrap and deliver the gifts with love on behalf  of the incarcerated parent to the child, and share the Gospel in the process.

This year 18,000 offenders registered 35,000 children for Angel Tree. Next year Prison Fellowship would like to increase the number of children to 50,000.

Additionally Prison Fellowship conducts in prison Christmas Celebrations with child and incarcerated parents at the Carol Vance and Carol Young units. This year 110 kids took part in the celebration at the Vance unit.             

For more information on how to become involved...

Restoring Bikes Behind Bars

It’s like Santa’s workshop in prison.

“I took away from my community for so long… doing things that I did. And now I’m able to give back to a community,” Allen Watson, another inmate, said.  Watch the KHOU 11 News video

A Special Message to the TDCJ Volunteers


Dear TDCJ Volunteer,

In a place where things are ever-changing, your dedication is often a reassuring constant.  Even when I can't count on my own family to visit, I know I can count on seeing you each week.

You could go anywhere, do anything, but you choose to devote yourself to helping me.  Sometimes you travel far from home, leaving your family behind for my sake.

I remember the time that I thought my unit program would end, but you stepped up so it could carry on.  I remember when I was lonely and felt that all was hopeless, you came and showed me that somebody cares.  You are the torchlight in a dark place, the smiling face that keeps me sane.  In many ways, you've shown me the kindest treatment I've ever gotten.  I am in awe because you do not have to make these kinds of sacrifices, yet you do because that's the kind of person you are.  I can't help but visualize you as a beacon of charity giving that most precious of gifts...TIME.

Your actions speak of your goodness louder than any words could, but words are all that I can offer which is why I wrote this letter and drew this picture.  If you don't know how much I appreciate the positive impact you've had on my life through your unwavering service, let it be said here and now...THANK YOU.