PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Eastern State Penitentiary is known for giving visitors a fright around Halloween, but on this Giving Tuesday, workers were highlighting an effort to make this holiday season a little brighter for children who have incarcerated parents.
"I've been a drug addict for 27 years," Adele Williams said. "I'm sorry, I get emotional."
Williams, of Philadelphia, was incarcerated for six months more than 20 years ago and she remembers the Christmas she spent away from her children.
"Christmastime was bad because my mom had to do everything for my children and they didn't have me, so they didn't get the presents I was supposed to give them," Williams said.
Williams speaks for many families.
One in 28 American children have a parent behind bars, according to the Pew Research Center. That's why for the past nine years the Eastern State Penitentiary has held a holiday toy drive.
"A lot of the kids that this toy drive serves, don't realize there are people out there who love them and care about them and are concerned. What they feel is the absence of their parents," Eastern State Penitentiary senior vice president Sean Kelley said.
Last year, Eastern State distributed 1,700 toys through their community partners.
Williams says the toys help bring a little brightness into a broken heart.
"Our families need this stuff for these kids because they don't have us when we were incarcerated," Williams said. "They just need help."
And so to help these children feel less forgotten, the Eastern State Penitentiary asked you to think of a toy you would like to receive and give it – new and unwrapped, because giving never gets old.
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