Children of incarcerated people get their piece of holiday cheer

Event organized by Bexar County Sheriff's Office, Chrysalis Ministries

SAN ANTONIO – More than 1,000 children whose parents are behind bars or were recently released felt the Christmas spirit thanks to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office and a local jail ministry.

“It’s like this is their Christmas and this where they’re going to get that Christmas experience,” said Nino Tarantino, CEO of Chrysalis Ministries.

Some of the children have parents who are or have been locked up at one of several detention centers, including the Bexar County jail.

“The children didn’t do anything wrong and every child deserves a gift at Christmas,” Sheriff Susan Pamerleau said.

The Sheriff’s Office and Chrysalis Ministries, which serves current and former inmates and their families, teamed up for the children’s benefit.

"They're going to see Santa Claus. They're going to see the Grinch. They're going to see dancers. They're going to hear some great music, and they're all going to walk away with a couple of gifts per child,” Tarantino said.

The event was not just about helping the families have a better Christmas, it was about helping them have a better view of law enforcement.

“Often what they see is a family member who's gotten in trouble with the law,” Pamerleau said.

“We try to make these families feel as important and as healthy as they can be. And I think events like this really brings the organizations together, as well as makes the families feel terrific about where they're heading,” Tarantino said.

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