OK Non-Profit Gives Incarcerated Parents, Children A Chance At Christmas
OKLAHOMA CITY - For every parent in prison there is a child deprived of seeing their mom or dad during the holidays.
To help fill that void, ‘Redeeming the Family', a non-profit group is providing the children with a unique message from their incarcerated parents.
Thousands of children go behind the razor wires and steel bars to visit their parents in prison. The children did not commit a crime, but they've lost some their freedom; the freedom to see their mom and dad anytime they want.
A volunteer behind a camera counts down,"3…2…1…rolling" and Brandy Aldridge starts to tell her story.
"I'm giving this to you for Christmas," said Aldridge.
Aldridge is not sharing the things she's done wrong that made her an inmate at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Facility, instead this mom is focused on doing what's right.
"I love you both so very much I'm gonna read you a book," she said.
Aldridge cries as she explains missing out on spending Christmas with her kids for the last four years following a drug conviction.
"It is just sad. To not be there on Christmas is a big thing cause that's what mommas are supposed to do."
Now, the Oklahoma Messages Project is allowing moms like Aldridge, in a sense, to be there for the children on the holiday. The messages project allows incarcerated parents to talk directly with their children in a 15-minute on-camera message.
Aldridge reads a book to her children like she did before her incarceration.
"Just by seeing my face on Christmas Day, I think they are going to love that."
The parents are encouraged to praise their children, read to them and make sure the kids know they are not forgotten. For Aldridge, delivering her message was easy.
"I love them very much and I miss them and I want them to know I will be home soon and they are going to be okay."
The Messages Project does not cost the state any money and is entirely donor and volunteer based. The project serves as an incentive to the inmates encouraging good behavior.