Children of incarcerated parents often face considerable emotional, physical, academic, and financial stress. The feelings of abandonment and the worry about the stigma of having an incarcerated parent are even stronger around the holidays. Most children want to stay connected with their incarcerated parent, especially if the relationship is healthy for the child. Unfortunately, this need is often missed for the roughly 2.7 million children in the U.S. who currently have a parent in jail or prison.
The Angel Tree Program
The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes having a parent in prison as an adverse childhood experience. This childhood trauma can lead to poor health and well-being as an adult. That’s why Roscoe Uniform teamed up with the Business Executives of Chicago (BEA) this holiday to support The Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree Christmas Program. Angel Tree Christmas gives incarcerated parents a way to provide their children a Christmas gift and a personal message, delivered by caring local volunteers, as a tangible representation of their love. We have supported the Angel Tree Program for over twenty years.
Working Together for Local Impact
Together, Roscoe and BEA were able to adopt 50 Chicago area children this year as part of the Angel Tree program and fulfill this need that benefits the entire community. The cycle of crime and incarceration produces broken relationships, victimization, despair, and instability, impacting families and communities. Being locally based in Chicago for over 100 years, Roscoe wanted to make a lasting difference for the local community and satisfy a neglected need.
“Kids and families with an incarcerated family member are often overlooked. The parent or guardian at home is struggling, and of course, the kids are struggling – often in silence,” said Roscoe CEO Jim Buik. “While we may have adopted 50 kids, the impact is on the entire family. It’s more than giving a toy to a child in need; it’s about keeping family relationships strong, which is crucial in the lives of these amazing kids and their parents.”
Gifts were collected throughout November, with Roscoe and BEA employees donating funds or new toys to the effort. The Roscoe and BEA teams recently gathered at Roscoe’s location in North Lawndale to gift wrap the presents, enjoy food and drinks, and celebrate the true spirit of the holiday – giving back to those who need it most.
Roscoe’s Community Focus
Giving back to and supporting the Chicago community is a core value of Roscoe’s culture. Roscoe has a long history of working with local organizations, including Angel Tree, Coat Angels, the Greater Chicago Food Pantry, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Salvation Army, United Way, and the Lincoln Park Zoo. “Being a Chicago-based family-owned business, I want this community to be the best it can be for those that live here, including my family at home and my work family,” said Buik.
The Prison Fellowship
The Angel Tree Program is one of many programs administered by the Prison Fellowship. Their mission is to restore America’s criminal justice system and those it affects, helping men and women replace the cycle of brokenness that landed them in prison. They advocate for justice reform and activate grassroots networks to do the same. When lives are restored, families are strengthened, communities become safer, and hope is unleashed.
“Take pride,” Roscoe’s company motto, reflects four generations of hard work, a commitment to continuous improvement, and a strong sense of community. Learn more about Roscoe and how working with a local provider benefits your business and the Chicago community.