A Tallahassee native, 19-year-old Tatianna George’s life changed for the better when her mother signed up for Angel Tree, a ministry of the Prison Fellowship program.
When her mother was sentenced a second time to several years in prison, Tatiana was left to the care of her grandmother. Every missed birthday, holiday, and graduation was another year of bitterness added to her life. She then began to question her own self-worth and identity. As a teenager, she battled suicidal thoughts and tried to kill herself twice.
“The second time, something stopped the knife,” she says. “I was hit with a voice that said, Your life will get better. This is not your ending. This is your beginning. And right then I knew my life was going to change.”
But all of this changed when she got a call from her mom asking her and her brother to write down gifts they might like for Christmas. Her mom had signed up for Angel Tree, which provides Christmas gifts and the gospel of Jesus Christ to children on behalf of their incarcerated parents and serves prisoners’ families throughout the year.
“If it hadn’t been for Angel Tree, 15-year-old Tatianna may not have received anything that Christmas—let alone from her mom,” Prison Fellowship states.
When she saw her mother’s Angel Tree gift under the Christmas tree, feelings of abandonment started to go away for the first time in a long time.
Today, Tatianna is currently earning her associate degree and hopes to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work. She also founded Daisy’s Doll House, a mentoring program for youth with incarcerated parents.
“I’m a people person,” Tatianna told Prison Fellowship Ministries. “Having friends wasn’t an issue. Keeping them was. I had mood swings. I would cry about my mama and people didn’t know how to handle it.”
What a difference a completely different Christmas experience makes.