AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - To help improve relationships between incarcerated fathers and their kids, the First Baptist Church and Nathaniel J. Neal Unit held its 3rd Annual Day with Dad Program. The program took place Nov. 5, Thursday morning from 9:00a.m.- 5:00p.m. Program participants were able to make positive memories and keep families together and not let actions in the past define their present.
"I really want to pay play basketball with my dad and maybe some soccer if they do that and some crafts," River Schmidt said. "The relationship between me and my dad is something I will always hold near and dear to my heart."
Fathers and their kids decorated pillow cases, played sports, and ate lunch together. At the end of the day the kids went home with a shirt decorated by their dad.
"There are so many men over the years trying to rebuild this relationship," Tom Foran Prison Ministry Administrator said "Relationships are broken, and some never had one prior to committing there crime that sent to prison. For so for many of them this is ground zero for building a relationship."
The church assigned volunteers to watch the kids while at the Unit. This allowed mothers to participate in a seminar that encouraged and uplifted women who are raising the child of an incarcerated father.
This program had 21 kids to attend this year. Foran said this is the biggest group they have ever had.
For inmates to be eligible for 2017 they must have a record of good behavior for at least a year. Also, the child must be 18 or under and have a parent that is in the Neal Unit.