LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — 13 Action News was there as some local children got an amazing holiday surprise at The Crossing Church. They had the chance to spend a magical evening with parents who are currently incarcerated.
The event was organized by Hope for Prisoners, a non-profit that helps people turn their lives around.
"I know what it is to wake up Christmas morning inside a prison cell and it doesn't feel really good," said Founder and CEO Jon Ponder.
After transforming his own life, Ponder created the program that has helped more than 2,300 people since 2009.
Thursday, Hope for Prisoners hosted its annual Christmas event for children of incarcerated parents.
With the help of the church, the organization set up individual living rooms for each family. Children had a Christmas tree, presents and their parent waiting for them.
Ponder says these events help set individuals up for success.
"When they sit down on the couch and experience this with their children, we want them to really internalize that, and feel the excitement of that," he said.
The 50 men and women at the event are currently in a transitional home and will be rejoining our communities soon.
"Anxious," said Justin Miller.
The 28-year-old has been in custody since he was a teenager and his daughter was a baby. He is up for parole in July.
"I hope I can be a good dad for her," he said.
Miller is working towards becoming a personal trainer.