Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree is more than a gift on Christmas morning, it is an invitation to invest in the lives of families who are hurting with the love of Jesus. This Christmas, you can be a part of the Angel Tree initiative at Blue Ridge by taking the name of a child, buying a gift and delivering it to the family.

Prison Fellowship collects the names of local families who have a loved one in prison and partners with Blue Ridge to minister to these families. The gift helps to create a bridge between the child and parent, so the child doesn’t feel forgotten for Christmas.

“It’s become a family tradition for some to sponsor an Angel Tree child,” said Debbie O’Brien, co-leader of Celebrate Recovery and coordinator of the Angel Tree initiative at Blue Ridge. She said the Angel Tree program has grown through its 15 years at Blue Ridge to encourage the gift givers to connect with the families and form relationships.

Debbie O’Brien first became aware of the Prison Fellowship's Angel Tree program many years ago when her children received gifts from her husband David while he was in prison. She is glad to continue this program, knowing what it meant to her and her family. And she loves that there is relationship beyond the Christmas gift.

“The family buys the gift, sets the appointment, and delivers the gift,” she said. “I’ve heard stories of people taking a meal or meeting at McDonald’s and spending time together."

While Celebrate Recovery is hosting the program, anyone can sponsor a family. Blue Ridge received almost 60 families to care for this year. If you are not in CR, but would like an Angel Tree family, please contact Debbie O’Brien at or by calling the church, (434) 525-7481.