Flourish: Oklahoma Messages Project helping incarcerated parents connect with children

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - An Oklahoma organization is working to make sure that the children of incarcerated parents know they are loved.

As we wind down the year, we want to focus on the good.

Back in March, News 4 was at an awards ceremony where individuals and organizations were honored for their commitment to nurturing a community where everyone can flourish.

We were so moved by the award winners, we're spending the final days of this year sharing some of the short videos that highlight the incredible good that is being done in Oklahoma.

Volunteers with the Oklahoma Messages Project go into prisons across the state to meet with incarcerated parents. They end up coaching parents and teach them how to read dialogically or interactively so they can record bedtime stories for their children.

They are also able to send home messages to their family members who are away from them during their time in prison.

"'I love you, I miss you. Mommy and Daddy made a mistake, but this is not your fault.' Then our tech volunteers burn these hundreds and hundreds of DVDS. We send the books and the DVDs to the kids, care of the guardians. You've gotta have a close proximity to people to find out what their greatest needs are. And this was the greatest pain these mothers had and heartbreak the children had," Cheri Fuller, founder and executive director of Oklahoma Messages Project.

Last Mother's Day and Father's Day, the organization sent out DVDs and books to 1,071 children across the state.

The Flourish Awards for 2020 will be celebrated at the end of March next year.

The focus of that ceremony will be on restorative justice, and those winners will be announced soon.

For more information, you can visit flourishokc.com.

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