Largest US Prison Org Partners with NFL Alumni Assoc.—N. Calif. for Day of Fun for At-Risk Kids

Former NFL and College Stars Join in Football Clinic for Bay Area, East Bay, Fresno and Sacramento Boys

With the coming of fall brings football season, but 2.7 million children in the U.S. do not have the opportunity to throw a pigskin with their dad or mom because one or both of their parents are in prison. On Saturday, Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families, is partnering with the NFL Alumni Association—Northern California to host the Angel Tree Football Clinic, giving hundreds of at-risk boys in the Bay Area, East Bay, Sacramento, and Monterey and Fresno Counties a chance to have some fun, sharpen their skills, and learn valuable character and life lessons during the clinic.

When a parent becomes incarcerated, the children also do hard time,” said Joe Avila, Prison Fellowship’s regional executive director for Western Pacific U.S., who has helped host this event for 11 consecutive years as part of Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree program for the children of prisoners. “By every measure, prisoners' children are some of the most at-risk children and youth in America, leaving them vulnerable to school behavior and performance problems as well as social stigma and shame. This clinic is intended to help them deal with the anger, hurt and disappointment they may feel and let them know they can overcome their tough circumstances and go on to achieve great things in life.”

Held at the former training facility of the San Francisco 49ers in Redwood City, the boys will be led by dozens of former NFL and college stars, including former Minnesota Viking Darrin Nelson and former San Francisco 49er and Super Bowl champion Dennis Brown. In addition to in-depth coaching and skills drills, the clinic will feature motivational speakers and a “Lift Them Up” program where boys who have demonstrated the best attitude and most improvement are literally lifted up and cheered, a powerful moment of affirmation and esteem-building.

The clinic is made possible through the partnership with the NFL Alumni Association—Northern California, comprised of professional football players who work voluntarily on behalf of youth and charity, guided in their volunteer efforts by the motto “Caring for Kids.”

Event Details


   Saturday, Aug. 27


  Mitchell Field, Red Morton Community Park
1311 Madison Ave.
Redwood City, CA 94061


  9 a.m. ­– 3 p.m.



9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • Visuals of coaches and volunteers teaching boys about football and character

1:30 – 3 p.m.

  • Coaches and volunteers praising players as they “Lift Them Up”

8 – 9 a.m. and 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

  • Interviews with former NFL and college football players
  • Interviews with children who have an incarcerated parent and coaches/volunteers who have seen the impact of incarceration on children


  Alyson Quinn, 571.337.3729

Prison Fellowship’s Angel Tree is the only nationwide, year-round program that reaches out exclusively to children who have a parent in prison. Through collaborations with local churches and community organizations, hundreds of thousands of children receive a gift each Christmas on behalf of their incarcerated parents. In addition, partner churches meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of prisoners’ families through year-round ministry such as camping and mentoring. For more information on Angel Tree, click here.


About Prison Fellowship

Prison Fellowship was founded in 1976 by Charles Colson, a former aide to President Nixon who served a seven-month sentence for Watergate-related crimes. Today the Christian nonprofit is the nation’s largest outreach to prisoners, former prisoners and their families, and a leading advocate for criminal justice reform. With 40 years of experience helping restore men and women behind bars, Prison Fellowship advocates for federal and state criminal justice reforms that transform those responsible for crime, validate victims and encourage communities to play a role in creating a safe, redemptive and just society.


About the NFL Alumni Association—Northern California

The NFL Alumni is a nonprofit organization composed of former football players and volunteer associate members guided in their volunteer efforts by their mission statement, Caring for Kids. They are dedicated to work on behalf of youth and charity. The Northern California Chapter is based in Redwood City, California, and conducts events at headquarters and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Their pledge is to carry on the proud 35-year tradition of the NFL Alumni—Northern California Chapter, which has given over $2 million to over 250 different youth organizations and worthy youth-related programs. They annually produce community outreach events that include the annual Red Ribbon Day Drug Prevention Workshops, Holiday Toy Drive and Youth of America Football Camps, to name a few.

The NFL Alumni—Northern California Chapter is a chapter of the NFL Alumni, Inc., which is a registered 501(c)(3) charity. They carry out their mission by actively raising funds for youth-oriented charitable causes and engaging in hands-on service to foster the development of youth.