CDCR staff donated almost $40,000 in cash, thousands of gifts, hundreds of pounds of food, and other products and services to needy children and families during the past holiday.

The staff’s generosity benefited more than 900 children and families. More than 500 bicycles were refurbished and given to children.

Help poured out to communities all across the state as staff at CDCR institutions stepped up for those in need.

And the totals do not include generous acts such as staff at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad giving more than 100 blankets to homeless people during a cold snap. The blankets were used and no longer serviceable for family visiting nor were they the type of blanket authorized for use by the inmates in their cells.

In some cases, this year’s aid to the needy extended a tradition for CDCR staff. For example, the California Correctional Center (CCC), in collaboration with Lassen Family Services (LFS), conducted CCC’s 24th annual Hobby Craft Fair at the Lassen Fairgrounds in Susanville. Over the past 15 years, the program has raised $123,745 for LFS.

Many of the donations had large impact but no dollar- value could be assigned to the acts.

Under guidance from staff, the male inmates at Folsom State Prison and the female inmates at Folsom Women’s Facility knitted hundreds of scarves and hats, each to be given to a child. The inmates in the “Hooks and Needles” program made sure every child who attended the 2nd Annual Meadowview Holiday Festival received a knitted hat and scarf.

CDCR videographer Jeff Baur recorded the event, including taking the unusual step of showing the inmates who made the scarves the reaction of recipients. (See links below to view video.)

Click her to view the video on YouTube.

You may not be able to view YouTube from a CDCR computer. Click her for a Windows Media Player version.

Few of these donations were publicized in the media but their impact was significant.

It all added up to a merry holiday for many people who otherwise would have been left with dismal prospects for this time of year.


CDCR staff wrap donated gifts, part of the river of aid that flowed to needy families.

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A child with a gift donated by CDCR staff.