By Sgt. Tony Quinn / SAC PIO

The employees at California State Prison-Sacramento (SAC), in partnership with the Sacramento County Child Protection Services’ “Gifts from the Heart” program, recently provided holiday gifts for 60 children in time for the Christmas holiday.

Ornaments were hung from tiny Christmas trees placed around the institution providing the first name, age, sex and clothing size of each child. Staff members selected the ornaments and, based on the needs and wants (also listed on the ornament) of the child, donated new clothes, shoes, blankets, baby supplies, toys and bikes.


SAC Warden Tim Virga and two volunteers from the institution look over some of the gifts.

The institution’s Community Resource Manager, Marc Elia, has partnered with these and similar programs the past four years, providing staff the opportunity to give to their community by helping those less fortunate.

“The response each year is overwhelming, and even during these difficult economic times, the staff here at SAC have given unselfishly,” Elia said.

Founded in 1988, the “Gifts from the Heart” program is an annual gift-giving program with a goal of providing holiday gifts to children, teens, seniors and dependent adults served by programs of Child Protective Services, Senior & Adult Services Divisions, and the Public Guardian/Conservator Office in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Each season 90 community organizations and private sponsors donate more than 10,000 gifts to a few thousand clients who otherwise would be without holiday gifts.

CSP-Sacramento is a multi-mission institution that houses approximately 2,800 inmates and employs more than 1,700 staff.  Opened in 1986, the institution primarily houses maximum-security inmates serving long sentences and those who have proved to be management problems at other institutions.