While any charity that aids children in need merits support, some do so in unique ways, or provide services that are truly critical for changing the lives of children in need.
Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree
Did you know that one in three prisoners is a parent, and about 75 percent of women in prison are mothers? One in every 43 children has a parent in prison, and they often feel their parent’s prison sentence is a punishment for them, too. More than 1.7 million children will spend each Christmas separated from their incarcerated mom or dad. Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program is trying to make this difficult time easier.
The Angel Tree program works by connecting parents in prison with their children through the delivery of Christmas gifts. Children whose parents are serving time struggle with feelings of anger, abandonment, loneliness and despair. But a simple Christmas gift from their incarcerated parent can show a hurting child that they are still loved, and that the parent-child connection can survive the separation of imprisonment. Visit www.angeltree.org to learn more.
March of Dimes
Having mothers have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies is the mission of March of Dimes. The organization works throughout the country through local chapters that help expecting moms take control of their health and the health of their babies. When something does go wrong, such as a baby is born prematurely or has a birth defect, March of Dimes offers support.
In order to help establish best practices for prenatal care and delivery, March of Dimes works with hospitals around the world to improve birth outcomes on a global scale. Visit www.marchofdimes.com to learn more.
Project Night Night
One in 50 children will face homelessness in his or her lifetime – and these children often have lower academic achievement due to frequent moves, lack of privacy and psychological distress of not having a stable home environment. Project Night Night is there to help.
Homeless children from birth to preteen receive a Night Night Package which includes a new security blanket, an age-appropriate children’s book and a stuffed animal all within a new canvas bag. These packages provide the essentials for the child to feel secure, cozy and special. The book helps encourage family bonding and the desire to learn and read. More than 25,000 children receive Night Night Packages each year. Visit www.projectnightnight.com to learn more.
Make a Wish
Any child with a life-threatening illness lives each day not knowing the future. This time can be very difficult for the entire family. Make a Wish grants these children special wishes so that they can take a moment and enjoy themselves and forget about the complexities of everything else happening to them.
From visiting Disney to working as a police officer to having a bedroom redecorated, wishes vary but the meaning behind granting them is the same – giving a sick child something extra special just for them. Since 1980, the organization has granted wishes for more than 250,000, granting one every 38 minutes. For more information visit www.wish.org.