They are often referred to as “hidden victims.” They face a host of challenges and difficulties: psychological trauma, depression, stigmas of shame, antisocial behavior, family tension, economic hardship, and the high risks of being vacuumed into a cycle of intergenerational criminal activity. They are the 2.7 million children in our country who have been affected by having a parent—or both—in prison.
Fourteen years ago, Breakaway Outreach launched our inaugural summer camp for children of prisoners, beginning with thirteen kids in the Great Smoky Mountains. As this VBS-style overnight adventure camp has expanded to serve a myriad of at-risk and disadvantaged children over the years, our primary focus has predominantly been serving children affected by parental or sibling incarceration. Prisoners’ children make up about 90% of our camper population. This transformative ministry has fostered resilience in kids facing hardship and has been an instrument of healing for entire families.
We believe this 14th year of camp ministry will be even more impactful than ever, as we serve children of inmates across 11 counties in East Tennessee with an updated and innovative strategy for 2020. Our “Summer of Hope” initiatives include serving children of inmates (and their families) through a modified camp experience and our “VIP” birthday blessings program. We believe that no child should have to face hardship alone this summer. This is the conviction that fuels our bold initiatives in an hour when pandemic, discord, civil unrest, and anguish hovers over our communities like a cloud of despair. BUT the Gospel is not on “lockdown,” and we have opportunities to make a difference!
Ways you can get involved:
- Sponsor a child (family): When you give to this ministry it’s not just about making a donation, it’s about making a difference. A gift of any amount will empower a child this summer and remind families they are not alone in these difficult times. You can make a secure online donation here.
- Volunteer: Come out and serve at one of our VIP birthday parties for kids. Send us a private message about specific details.
- Pray: Your prayers make a difference. Pray for doors to be open to the “word,” and for gospel clarity as we minister to many families in distress (Colossians 4:2-4). Sign up to receive our monthly prayer letter to get more detailed updates and to hear stories/testimonies of impact.
Thank you for partnering with Breakaway Outreach to empower children through communities of faith, hope, and love.