Faith based organization “Get on the Bus” assists over 1000 kids
There were smiles, hugs, and tears of joy in San Quentin’s visiting room on Father’s Day.
Most of the children who visited their fathers live hundreds of miles away in Southern California communities.
Participants proudly wore their violet “Get on the Bus” tee shirts into the visiting room to see their fathers.
The children were given this gift from a non-profit, faith-based organization called “Get on the Bus.”
Getonthebus.com unites children with their parents on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day each year in order to strengthen the family unit.
Troy Williams has been incarcerated for nearly 15 years. During that time he says he’s seen his daughter maybe five times, the last time nearly seven years ago.
This precious father-daughter moment gave Williams the opportunity to hug and talk to her face to face, which he said,…”is very different from the limited 15 minutes of talking over the telephone or the distance of a letter.”
“We think little of the actual harm we do to our families when we commit crimes,” Williams said. “In the wake of the victims I left behind, there goes my children.”
When asked why should prisoners benefit from a program like this Williams said, “It’s not about me; it’s about the children. It is said that 70 percent of children with incarcerated parents end up incarcerated themselves. What some people tend to forget is that a child lost is a victim gained. So, allowing my child to see me today and understand who I am right now strengthens her ability to build healthier relationships, relationships not base on perceptions of who her father used to be, but relationships based upon knowing who her father is today.”
In addition to San Quentin, this program assisted more than 1,000 children and their caregivers in visiting fathers incarcerated at Folsom Prison, California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, the Correctional Training Facility – Soledad, Salinas Valley State Prison, and Solano State Prison – Vacaville.