PEORIA, Ill. – State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria) spent Monday making sure incarcerated mothers could give Christmas gifts to their children.

Gordon-Booth took to the Peoria County Jail to help children receive toys as gifts from their mothers. The toys were collected as part of Gordon-Booth’s annual Doers of the Deed celebration to honor local women making a difference in the community.

“The holiday season is an especially difficult time for families that are separated due to incarceration,” Gordon-Booth said. “This Christmas, I want the children of incarcerated mothers to be able to experience receiving a gift from their mother.”

Nearly 80% of jailed women are mothers according to the Vera Institute of Justice, an independent, nonprofit policy research institute and nearly 90% have experienced domestic or sexual violence.

The state representative said she wants to assist the recovery of incarcerated mothers and make the holiday season more hopeful for children through the gift exchange.

“Helping reunite families separated by incarceration to exchange a gift from parent to child can help bring hope to incarcerated mothers and their children while aiding in the recovery of mothers who are in jail,” Gordon-Booth said. “Just because someone is incarcerated does not mean that the love of family and the ability to express that love through a gift has to go away. I’m thankful to everyone who donated a toy to help these mothers give a gift to their children this holiday season.”

This story will be updated.