WYOMING, Mich. — Miguel Garcia knows how tough it can be to provide for his five children this time of year; especially with the challenges that come along with having a felony conviction in his background.
"The world doesn't see that you've paid for your crime," Garcia told FOX 17 News. "You're constantly paying for it...it's hard, there's a lot of red tape, a lot of walls put up for someone who's come out of doing time."
The single father is getting some help, just in time for the holidays.
The non-profit 70x7, which helps returning citizens with mentoring, housing and job placement, is teaming up with Together Church to sponsor dozens of families like Garcia's.
"When individuals come out of incarceration, they've got a whole host of hurdles to jump," explained Ben Rosa, Executive Director of 70x7. "What we do here at 70x7 is to help them navigate those hurdles...to come out during this holiday season and not have the funds to buy gifts for their children, really puts an extra stress on them."
"It's in our mission and vision to help people, the least of these," he added. "We really want to break the cycle of incarceration, and we do that one person at a time, and one family at a time."
Members of Together Church have been pitching in by donating gift cards to the effort.
"We really have a heart as a church for vulnerable populations, and we've learned so much from 70x7 about those coming out of incarceration, and they really are vulnerable. So, it really is just huge opportunity for us to love them well," explained Kathy Resler Chambliss, the Lead Pastor of Together Church. "This is just one more way for us to give value to people, and to show them that they are loved and that we really do care."
Garcia said he appreciates the help.
"I was like wow, definitely. I was very excited," he said. "I want these girls to know what happiness is... 70x7 has been amazing to me and my family and I appreciate it."
To learn more about 70x7 and its services, click here.