For more than 40 years, Prison Fellowship has been assisting those affected by crime and incarceration to transform their lives and communities. By partnering with Prison Fellowship and working toward opening the door of opportunity for approximately 70 million Americans, ViaPath Technologies hopes to raise awareness about these barriers and unlock brighter futures for people with a criminal record.
One in 49 children in the U.S. has a parent behind bars. In 2021, ViaPath Technologies sponsored 1,327 children through the Angel Tree program – one child for each employee. We are now working with Prison Fellowship to include the Angel Tree application on our tablets. Cutting down on paperwork and administration will make it easier for more incarcerated parents and their children to participate in the Angel Tree program.
Incarceration can strain family ties to the breaking point. By providing Christmas gifts on behalf of incarcerated parents, sending kids to summer camp, hosting sports camps, and other activities, Prison Fellowship Angel Tree strengthens relationships between incarcerated parents and their children and supports the families of prisoners year-round.
See the Angel Tree Opportunity Kids camps in action!
Amachi is a Nigerian-Igbo word meaning: “who knows but what God has brought us through this child.” Amachi seeks to empower, nurture, and protect those most vulnerable to the criminal justice system. By providing a volunteer-based mentoring system, Amachi aims to break the generational cycle of incarceration. They support a family-oriented holistic approach, challenging Pittsburgh’s youth to excel academically while learning to foster successful, meaningful relationships, providing them with the confidence needed to overcome challenges.
Amachi has a 92% success rate with youth breaking the incarceration cycle.
As part of Amachi’s Toy Drive to help provide holiday gifts to the children in their program, ViaPath employees came together to donate 20 new bicycles. The bicycles were the centerpiece of their holidays and gave children a fun way to play outdoors.
Amachi also holds a Pajama Drive to help restore dignity and privacy to the youth they work with. Our employees personally donated 121 pairs of pajamas. With the ViaPath company matching program, we supplied more than 250 pairs of pajamas for children of incarcerated parents.
Edwins Leadership and Restaurant Institute
EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute gives formerly incarcerated adults a foundation in the culinary and hospitality industries while providing a support network necessary for their long-term success. Incarcerated individuals can access EDWINS culinary arts online course work through ViaPath tablets, which equips students with highly-sought-after job skills and training by engaging them in active learning and providing realistic hope upon release.
EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute graduates nearly 100 students a year with a 95% employment rate and less than 1% recidivism rate.
EDWINS supports their students with the Second Chance Life Skills Center, a 20,000 square foot campus with an apartment building for student housing.
In addition to student housing, EDWINS built a playground at the Second Chance Life Skills Center for the children of the returning citizens participating in the program. ViaPath employees stepped up to the task by raising over $7,000 to help fund this safe and family-friendly place for children to play and everyone to gather.
For the EDWINS Holiday Fundraiser, ViaPath employees selected to fulfill an Amazon wish list with at least one basic need and one personal gift for the students at EDWINS. Our goal was to provide each student with a backpack containing toiletries, winter hat and gloves, and gifts like ear buds or tumblers. With employee donations and a company match, we were able to provide full backpacks for all 31 students in the program.