Mule Creek State Prison's float won second place.

Mule Creek State Prison’s float won second place.

By Lt. Danelle Goodrich, AA/Public Information Officer
Mule Creek State Prison

Toys not only made their way to needy families in Amador County, but were also delivered to the children of deployed military, all thanks to the efforts of area law enforcement and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

For five years running, Mule Creek State Prison (MCSP) has partnered with the Amador County Sheriff’s Department (ACSD) on their Annual Toy Drive to provide toys for the county’s underprivileged children.

This year employees at MCSP, including donations from the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA), Chicano Correctional Workers Association (CCWA) and staff from the MCSP Infill Construction Project, worked collaboratively to brighten the Christmas holiday for many children.

MCSP held a BBQ lunch and bake sale in November  with all cash proceeds going towards the Toy Drive.  MCSP is proud that this year’s fundraising and cash donations nearly doubled from last year’s efforts.  The proceeds were dispersed to volunteer “shoppers” who  shopped in Amador County, purchasing gifts for children ranging in ages from newborn to 18.

MCSP staff and their families were ready for the toy distribution.

MCSP staff and their families were ready for the toy distribution.

On Dec. 13, MCSP participated in the Ione Christmas Parade.

Staff volunteers and their families met early in the morning to decorate a float with donated toys and bicycles.

This year’s float theme was “Cowboy Christmas.”  MCSP  won second place and a $150 prize, which will be used for the 2015 Toy Drive.

On Saturday, Dec. 20, staff volunteers and their families gathered at St. Sava Mission in Jackson to distribute toys to over 300 families.

Each family was provided with at least two toys per child.  The event ended with prize drawings for several bikes, scooters and Apple iPods.

Due to the overwhelming response from the community, the ACSD and MCSP, staff there were toys remaining after the distribution.

The additional toys were donated to “Operation Christmas,” an organization which collects toy donations for the children of deployed military members.

“I am extremely proud of being part of this community, proud of the MCSP staff and being a partner with the ACSD,” said Warden Joe A. Lizarraga. “Christmas is about giving back to our community and to those less fortunate.  It is even more rewarding that this year we were able to exceed all expectations and also provide a brighter Christmas for the children of our military personnel.”

CCPOA, CCWA, MCSP executive staff and Warden Joe Lizarraga gathered gifts for needy children.

CCPOA, CCWA, MCSP executive staff and Warden Joe Lizarraga gathered gifts for needy children.