“There will never be another Mario Finnell; not in this lifetime, nor in the next …
Walking into Fair Park’s Hall of State theater on a Thursday night, you wouldn’t have expected much of what lay ahead. The stage, adorned with a Christmas tree and presents – Spalding basketballs, Children’s Place gift boxes and a bicycle to name a few – resembled that of a heartfelt winter movie. Twenty-five families would receive a holiday miracle by the end of the night.
“I believe in going all out,” Letitia Scott, Founder of Keeping Families Connected exclaimed.
“I figured if we were going to [hold the event] in a theater, we have to make it theater ready.”
After her wrongful conviction in 2011, the God-fearing humanitarian sought to give back to the community through her non-profit, Keeping Families Connected. The organization provides free breakfast, lunch and round-trip transportation to correctional facilities for children with incarcerated parents.
“People will try to tear [a child’s] self-esteem down,” Scott explained in regards to children who gain a bad reputation for their parents’ circumstances.
“There’s still a kid, preteen or young adult who needs guidance or mentoring. My whole thing is to teach and keep them from making the same mistakes.”
The event, hosted by actress and radio personality, Claudia Jordan, featured a three-scene skit and panel discussion. The production took the audience through the story of a family – aided by Keeping Families Connected – whose daughter was reunited with her imprisoned father after five years. Afterward, panelists touched on topics like financial literacy and good health.