Group provides Christmas gifts for children of inmates

A group of good Samaritans in Virginia is making sure the children of inmates at its local jails will have a good Christmas.

The organization, Building Resilience in Communities, held its fourth "It Takes a Village" program this past weekend, WTKR reported.

This year they worked with the Western Tidewater Regional Jail and the Hampton Roads Regional Jail to choose the families that would get gifts of clothing, shoes and some special gifts, like toys.

Some of the group’s organizers once found themselves in these kids’ shoes.

"For me, it is important because I was a child who grew up with two parents incarcerated, so I know the pain of what that is," Quniana Futrell, the executive director of Building Resilience in Communities, told WTKR.

The gifts were marked from their parents, while the group distributed them to the families, WTKR reported.

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But the group in Virginia isn’t the only one trying to make a connection between children of inmates and their parents.

In South Carolina, the state’s Department of Corrections is allowing a group of “inmate mothers” to read to their children, thanks to technology.

This year, the selected inmates from Graham Correctional Institution in Columbia, South Carolina, read to their children using a recordable book, The State reported.

As the pages are turned, the child can hear his or her mother read to them. The inmates were also allowed to add a personal message for their children, the newspaper reported.

"It is easy to forget that when a parent is sentenced their children are forced to pay for that crime as well, through no fault of their own," the prison system's director, Bryan Stirling, told the paper through a news release.

The inmates for the reading program were selected due to good behavior among other criteria, The State reported.

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