The La Crosse Jail Ministry has co-sponsored an Angel Tree for 20 years with the West Salem Presbyterian and North Presbyterian Churches, so that children of parents in the La Crosse County Jail may receive a gift at Christmas.

Children need to know their parents love them even as they are behind bars. The holiday spirit also offers a chance for parents to rethink their lives, to perhaps find spiritual direction to help them in their difficult futures. These men and women are behind bars for a reason, yet they are shaped in their Creator's image with the ability to improve and with human emotional needs.

We deeply thank these churches, as they move on to other worthwhile projects.

We are hoping that another church, organization or individuals will help us fund a new project through 2018 to provide basic board games for each jail block. You may be surprised to learn that board games are key teaching devices in jails for the concepts of rules, planning, accepting losing or winning with grace, cooperation, treating others fairly and more.

We also continue to need basics such as phone cards and stamps so inmates can communicate with loved ones and pursue housing, employment, etc. Communication with families and others goes a long way to improve behavioral outcomes and community safety. Those who do not maintain relationships on the outside often gradually retreat into the “con” way of thinking and acting.

The mission of the La Crosse Jail Ministry is to create an environment for inmates that awaken their spiritual lives, thereby promoting behavioral change, social reintegration and personal well-being. Please contact us at P.O. Box 2675, La Crosse, or laxjailministry@gmail.com.

Maureen Freedland, Jail Ministry president

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