From a dad to his daughter… a girl gets a new room from a nonprofit working on behalf of her incarcerated father. #GoodVuz
Posted by Vuz on Saturday, November 4, 2017
Aiden Franklin doesn’t have many memories of her dad.
The 12-year-old has spent the last six years away from her father as he serves a 17-year prison sentence.
“For Aiden, she doesn’t remember a lot, and so it’s been hard for her,” her mother Krista Cammisa said. “But she just has an amazing heart and she is like the center of our whole family.”
Thanks to a nonprofit called Rooms for Restoration, Aiden and her dad have been given a special opportunity to rebuild their relationship.
Started earlier this year by Cassandra Vera, Rooms for Restoration seeks to “provide an avenue for direct, purposeful and intimate communication between incarcerated fathers and their child(ren).” A father can nominate their child for a Dream Room Makeover, which is then made possible through monetary donations to the nonprofit.
Beyond cash resources, the Rooms for Restoration team takes pride in using “discarded, forgotten or damaged” items and “restoring their value and original purpose,” because it alludes to the inmates distorted views of their own value and worth.
It’s this generational distortion of self-worth that often leads to generational incarceration. In their quest to restore relationships, Rooms for Restoration aims to put an end to that cycle and show children how much they are loved.
“Children often blame themselves. Children often feel guilty for things they shouldn’t feel guilty for,” Cassandra Vera said. “We are about the children feeling value and worth. Maybe for the first time to be able to come into their bedroom and be reminded that, ‘My dad loves me.’”
Krista says the last few years have been harder on her daughter emotionally. Taking Aiden to visit her father and encouraging their relationship has become more and more of a challenge as she grows up with that void of a father-figure in her life.
But Rooms for Restoration is working to help bridge the gap.
Even from prison, Aiden’s dad can give something to his daughter to show her how much he cares.
She recently became the recipient of a Dream Room Makeover, something Krista believes is just the start in rebuilding the relationship between father and daughter.
“Maybe when she looks around, it will help her to find a way to write letters to him or connect with him somehow. Because it does make her sad when she thinks about trying to write to dad. So hopefully, it will open that door for her.”