By Lt. M.A. Tuntakit, A.A./PIO, Avenal State Prison

Teddy bears made by inmates at Avenal State Prison have found their way into the hugs of disadvantaged children.

In July, a church group from San Francisco partnered with Agua Viva Ministries to volunteer at the Ensenada, Baja California, chapter of the Salvation Army.

This chapter is a home for battered women and is one of a few sponsored by the Salvation Army in Mexico.  At the time there were about six families, each with one to our children, living there.

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Children in a home for battered women received inmate-made Teddy bears, thanks to Avenal State Prison.

The group remodeled the kitchen adding a working stove and oven, cupboards, an industrial size sink, and countertops. They also played with the children during a circus-themed Vacation Bible School where they shared Bible stories, sang songs, and made crafts.  While the children played, the group pampered the mothers with a Bible study, crafts and even a “spa day.”

At the end of the week, the group gave approximately 50 Teddy bears to the children. The stuffed animals were made by inmates at Avenal State Prison for the children.

According to the group, the children were ecstatic to receive the gifts.

Agua Viva Ministries expressed thanks to Warden Carl Wofford and Avenal State Prison for their donation to the children of the Ensenada Salvation Army.