Angel Tree Stories
Read how kids lives are impacted through Angel Tree Sports Clinics.
Kenny Clark was 9 years old when his father went to prison. “Going through that at a young age, a lot of weight was put on my shoulders,” he explains. Today, Kenny plays for the Green Bay Packers and was nominated to be the NFL’s 2018 Walter Payton Man of the Year. He volunteers for Angel Tree Sports Clinic, encouraging youth who face challenges like the ones he did. “At my camp we put God first in everything,” Kenny said. “Everything that we do in front of the kids, we do for a reason … them watching me pray before I do this event or watching us do the drill.” He wants every child at an Angel Tree sports clinic to take home lifelong lessons about the value of perseverance, hard work, and prayer.
When Alex*, a 7-year-old boy, showed up at the Angel Tree Sports Clinic, he wasn’t sure what to expect. While other kids played and laughed on the field, he kept to the sidelines. Alex’s dad was in prison; there had never been anyone to show him how to throw a football.
Then Alex met Justin, a marketing professional and sports clinic volunteer. From personal experience, Justin understands the pain and stigma that come with having a father behind bars. As they ate lunch together, Justin encouraged Alex, telling him that he wasn’t alone, and he was full of potential for a bright future.
“That was a touching moment,” says Justin, “… a way for him to realize, ‘This guy has a similar story that I did, and look at him now.'”
*not his real name
Flora cared for her grandsons after their parents abandoned them. She loved them and did the best for them that she could, but as they got older, Flora became afraid for them.
Their dad was in prison. Flora saw signs that they were headed in the same direction. In the beginning, it was all about attitude. But, after a while, there was trouble at school.
Flora heard whispers about a gang. And she was never quite satisfied with the answers her grandsons gave when confronted about it.
And then, suddenly one day, something happened…a wonderful something that changed everything.
Through Angel Tree, Flora’s grandsons were invited to an Angel Tree Sports Clinic, led by former college and professional football players and coaches.
It was a day that would give them new direction.
They met former pro linebacker Tyrus McCloud at the football clinic they attended. They heard words that gave them hope and helped them reconsider the course they were on. After that, they were never the same. In spite of all the peer pressure they face, Flora says they now want to do what’s right in God’s eyes.
“I’ve never done this before! I’m so excited!” gushed 4-year-old Trinity, on ice skates for the first time. On a wintry day, dozens of boys and girls piled off a bus in Central Park for an afternoon of ice skating at an Angel Tree Sports Clinic. Children with incarcerated parents, along with their caregivers, had the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of skating, enjoy cookies and cocoa, and receive encouragement. Two-time Olympic figure skater JoJo Starbuck, a longtime friend and supporter of Prison Fellowship, joined more than 60 volunteers who invested in children at this special event. “Angel Tree is such a worthwhile organization to get behind, because you’re making a difference for the next generation,” says JoJo.
Let’s change the lives of hundreds of kids in 2019 with just your daily cup of coffee.
$10 from your first shipment and 10% from each Buzzbox shipment will go back to help send kids to Angel Tree Sports Clinics.
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