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Prison fellowship program helps bring Christmas joy to one Coastal Bend family

"It makes me happy because I get to see their smiles," said Abagail Barrera.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Several organizations continued to reach out to families in need during the holidays. One was the Angel Tree program with Prison Fellowship. The organization finds children who have incarcerated parents to provide for.

"I love and miss you always, love dad," said Abagail Barrera as she read the personalized card from her dad.

With the help of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, the Barrera kids were able to receive gifts from their dad who is in prison nearly 10 hours away.

"This one in particular is for kids whose parent or parents are incarcerated," said Jaime Reyna, the director of social ministries at the diocese.

The family has been a part of the fellowship for two years now.

"One year he wrote to me and told me he signed up the kids with an organization at the prison. He said he was a member of it so they're going to be contacting me for gifts for the kids," said Yesenia Reyes, the kids' mother.

Although the gifts weren't being handed to the kids directly from their dad, seeing the personalized notes brought them a smile that only their dad could give.

"It makes me happy because I get to see their smiles and she loves to see the gifts her dad gets for her; to her these gifts are from her dad," said Reyes.

Nearly six years later, the family says it still feels like it's been forever. They celebrated another Christmas without their missing puzzle piece.

"I love him, and I really missed him a lot," said Barrera.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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