As part of a tradition that's grown every year, Willow Creek Community Church members spent their Sunday morning filling bags for Christmas care packages that will be distributed to the 70,000 men and women living in Illinois' state prisons.
"This year we set the goal of putting a gift into the hands of every prisoner in the state of Illinois by packing 70,000 gift packs," Heather Larson, executive pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, told The Christian Post on Monday.
"For the last two years, the Willow Creek Care Center provided Christmas prison packs to 20,000 inmates (2013), and 32,000 (2014), inmates in Illinois. After receiving hundreds of letters from prisoners it was clear that we needed to do more," Larson said.
Each care package delivered to the Illinois Department of Corrections for the prison population includes three Krispy Kreme treats, a year-long inspirational journal, a copy of the book Wonderlife, a correspondence booklet titled Jonah, and a Christmas greeting card.
"We take the words of Hebrews 13:3 to 'remember the prisoner' and believe that God can do something extraordinary through something as simple as a paper bag filled with some tangible reminders of God's love," Larson explained.