Good Deed: Grateful for community support of children of ex-offenders – Jan 5, 2018

The State Journal-Register

Forty children received presents and lunch at the Dec. 23 party at the Pizza Ranch, where emotional testimonials were heard from parents who have overcome the barriers encountered after release from incarceration.

This opportunity was made possible by our sponsors: The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln; Pizza Ranch; Toys for Tots; Walmart; Target; Monster Pawn; O’Reilly Auto Parts; Aldermen Herman Senor, Ralph Hanauer, Jim Donelan, Andrew Proctor and Joe McMenamin; former Alderman Frank McNeil; Sheriff Wes Barr; and Alana Reynolds; for their generosity in support of the SING Re-Unification Christmas Party for children of ex-offenders and their families.

Nearly 1,000 individuals are annually released from prisons into Sangamon County and have few resources for their children at Christmas or any other time. Studies show parental incarceration can be more traumatic to children than a parent’s death or divorce, and the damage it can cause to students’ education, health and social relationships puts them at higher risk of one day going to prison themselves.

A goal of SING is to help children shed the trappings of their parents’ incarceration and re-unify with their parents through family activities. SING also works to equip parents who are re-entering with case management services, many times resulting in employment, housing and transportation, working with many local community and government agencies to achieve these goals.

If you would like to make a difference in the life of these children, donations can be sent to United Community Bank, c/o Sarah Goleman, 700 Stevenson Drive, Springfield, IL, 62703.

Maria Crawford and Lynard Joiner

Shifting Into New Gear

The State Journal-Register