Inside the Lubbock County Detention Center, there's not much Christmas spirit.
For hundreds of inmates, today is just another day to cross off the calendar. However, there's one man who has made it his Christmas mission to make sure Lubbock County inmates know they're loved on Christmas.
"These are God's people, they are young people that have made alleged mistakes. I want them to be encouraged," TJ Patterson said.
This is Patterson's 27th year visiting inmates, a group of people he says is often dismissed during the holidays.
"Many families forget about them, because they're too busy with themselves," Patterson said.
Patterson's son, TJ Jr. couldn't be prouder of his father's compassion.
"We never knew at an early age what my Dad was doing, but we understand now what he's doing. The fact that he was giving back the way Jesus did, Jesus hung out with sinners," TJ Jr. said.
One by one, the inmates shake Patterson's hand and are offered an encouraging word, pushing them to rise above their current circumstance.
"They didn't ask to come here. But they still need some encouragement," Patterson said.
This year, the 76-year old was forced to use a wheelchair, but he has a goal for his 28th visit.
"Next Christmas I'm going to walk down these halls," Patterson said.
Determination to continue his Christmas mission which truly embodies the reason for the season.
"You can't take people down, you've got to raise people up," Patterson said. "Merry Christmas, everyone."
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