Inmates’ kids get gifts
Published 8:05 pm Saturday, December 12, 2015
Quniana Futrell knows what it’s like to be a kid whose parents are in prison at Christmas.
“They are the forgotten children,” said Futrell.
The Churchland woman’s parents were incarcerated when she was a child in New Jersey. She was raised by her grandmother.
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“I remember getting off-the-wall stuff tagged from other people. Once, I got a pair of orthopedic shoes.”
Futrell, an educator working on her doctorate, is founder of Building Resilience in the Community. The nonprofit works to improve the lives of children of incarcerated parents through conferences, mentoring and parenting empowerment programs.
The organization has partnered with the Western Tidewater Regional Jail and will be supplying gifts for the children of 20 inmates, Futrell said. The gifts will be wrapped and addressed to the children as gifts from their incarcerated parent, she said.
The gifts will be given directly to the family member or guardian raising the child, she added.
The gifts have been donated by organizations, individuals and businesses across Hampton Roads.
“We want these children to know their parents are participating in their lives,” Futrell said.
Oftentimes, the children of incarcerated parents get left behind by other charities around the holidays, Futrell said.
“Those children deserve to have a merry Christmas. They should not be penalized just because their parents made a poor choice in their lives.”
Futrell has written and published a children’s book geared toward the children of incarcerated parents. One will be included with each child’s package.