Jail officials allowed children to bring their mothers who are behind bars hugs and holiday cheer on Saturday.
The annual female family worship program and gift giveaway for the children of inmates took place Saturday morning at Metro West Detention Center in Miami-Dade.
Incarcerated mothers in good standing were allowed a special contact visit with their little ones a week before Christmas. Many of the kids have not seen their mothers in months.
"We were all excited to see her," said one child during the emotional visit. "Everyone was crying."
The program is spearheaded by the detention centers chaplain and volunteers from several local churches and ministries who spend their time spreading the gospel and Christmas presents.
"Our purpose is to bring glory to God, and to see that these individuals, both their families and the inmates that are here, have a hope of change," said Chaplain Julio da Silva.
The event included a short service, two guest speakers and the special opportunity for kids to receive gifts from their mothers.
The statewide organization works to foster relationships between children and their incarcerated relatives.
Children of Inmates has coordinated over 250 prison visits since its 2007 inception, helping over 3,000 kids from Miami-Dade and Broward counties with 80 bonding trips a year, according to their deputy director of children of inmates.
The program is funded mostly by the Department of Children and Families, Children’s Trust of Miami-Dade and the Florida Department of Corrections.
For Saturday’s event, the gifts were donated and wrapped by various church groups across Miami-Dade County.