Local businessman, Chris Woods and Church of the Highlands teamed up to provide Christmas gifts to the children of inmates who have been incarcerated in the Jefferson County Jail for an extensive period of time. Woods, along with Pastor Jamil Gilleylen from the Church of the Highlands’ Woodlawn Campus, reached out to Sheriff Pettway with the idea. They wanted to allow the children of those inmates who have been away for a long period of time to be able to experience some type of Christmas with their parent who is incarcerated. Pettway and his staff worked to be able to provide a video connection for a visit with the parent while the children received gifts sponsored by Woods and Church of the Highlands.
While the children were happy to receive their gifts, the event was also shrouded in tears. This is the first time many of these children will experience the holidays without their parent. “This separation is never the children’s fault,” said Sheriff Mark Pettway. “We were happy to be able to provide the conduit to allow these children to be able to interact in the holiday spirit with their parents, even if it was only virtually.”