Those in need assisted by CDCR employees, inmates with food, gifts
By Don Chaddock, InsideCDCR editor
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff across the state rolled up their sleeves, or opened their wallets, to help those in need over the holiday season.
In all, CDCR staff donated an estimated 330 bicycles, thousands of wrapped gifts and thousands of dollars to those in need. Approximately 3,600 children had brighter holidays because of the efforts of CDCR staff and inmates. CDCR efforts included the following:
- San Bernardino County Parole Agents and staff partnered with local law enforcement to rally behind a center for abused children, helping provide gifts. In 2014, the second year of the holiday event, it doubled in size, serving nearly 200 children.
- California Correctional Institution staff collected 1,000 pounds of canned food to help the Salvation Army Christmas basket program. They also filled 100 Angel Tree tags for local children in need. They teamed with the Stallion Springs Police Department to provide lunch, gifts and a visit with Santa to children from an emergency shelter. Five staff also participated in the Shop with a Cop event, partnering with other regional law enforcement agencies.
- Deuel Vocational Institution Warden Jerome Price raised $145 by spending an hour “behind bars” for a charity known as Brighter Christmas.
- California State Prison, Sacramento, staff provided gifts for 200 needy children.
- California Health Care Facility-Stockton staff “adopted” 14 families in collaboration with the Stockton Women’s Center and Youth/Family Services, and the Health Careers Academy. Aside from basic items, they also donated gifts and nine bicycles.
- Pine Grove Youth Conservation Camp firefighters, under the direction of camp staff, crafted 2,000 holiday-themed pine boughs which were donated to 11 towns. They also raised $2,600 to make the holidays a lot brighter for two families.
- High Desert State Prison and California Correctional Center Honor Guard assisted the Lassen County Search and Rescue with distributing toys to local families for the Toys for Tots program. HDSP staff also raised $2,000 for Lassen Family Services and another $2,000 for Lassen Senior Services.
- California City Correctional Facility employees donated several gifts ranging from iPods to clothing to make-up to benefit 32 families. Employees also donated 15 new bicycles.
- The staff at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility purchased 200 bicycles for children in need.
- North Kern State Prison staff purchased Christmas gifts for more than 100 children who attend Nueva Vista Language Academy Kindergartenin Delano. They partnered with the Delano Community Connection to provide Thanksgiving baskets and also shoes and coats to families affected by the drought. The prison’s records staff provided blankets, scarves, socks and hair care products to 145 seniors at the Delano Skilled Nursing Facility.
- Ironwood State Prison employees donated five boxes of canned goods and food to Harmony Soup Kitchen just before the Thanksgiving holiday, replenishing the soup kitchen after a robbery left their pantry bare.
- Kern Valley State Prison inmates raised funds to provide $25 gift certificates to 211 students at Pond School in Delano.
- Kern Valley State Prison staff provided wrapped gifts to 159 students fromCesar Chavez Preschool in Delano.
- The California Institution for Women (CIW), California Correctional Peace Officer Association-CIW Chapter and the Employee Association joined with the United States Marine Corps for the Toys for Tots toy drive.
- Staff at the California Prison Industry Authority showed their holiday spirit by sponsoring dozens of children through the Sacramento Children’s Home Giving Tree program.
- Eleven classrooms at Linden Elementary School received 231 letters back from Santa and his band of helpers from O.H. Close and N.A. Chaderjian Youth Correctional Facilities.
- Wasco State Prison-Reception Center employees purchased, wrapped and distributed more than 200 gifts to children in the local community.
- Substance Abuse Treatment Facility, Corcoran State Prison and Wasco State Prison donated bicycles and 350 wrapped gifts to needy children.
- 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. MCSP staff and their families also distributed gifts to more than 300 families.
- Centinela State Prison, Imperial County Probation Department, El Centro Police Department and El Centro Kiwanis Club provided 80 new bicycles to children in need during the holiday season. The children also received helmets and a bike lock.
- The Tracy Police Department, Deuel Vocational Institution, the local chapter of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, and inmates from the Career Technical Education (CTE) Auto Body Shop program collaborated to have 10 bicycles refurbished and donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Tracy.
- Valley State Prison staff donated over six barrels full of gently worn coats, jackets and sweaters for the Madera Salvation Army’s Coats for Kids Drive. The staff also donated 300 toys as well as bicycles, riding horses, dolls and electric toys to the VSP United Way Toys for Tots Drive, with an additional 400 toys donated to the drive by the Madera Rescue Mission.
- Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and Ironwood State Prison, along with other public safety agencies, raised more than $10,000 to help 100 less-fortunate children receive a $110 shopping spree for the holidays. Riverside County Child Development Services selected the children.
- Calipatria State Prison and Centinela State Prison staff partnered with other law enforcement agencies to escort 90 disadvantaged kids on a shopping spree during the annual Shop with a Cop event.
- Calipatria State Prison provided 91 Grace Smith Elementary School students with beanies, gloves, socks, small toys, cookies and juice. Warden Warren L. Montgomery also spoke to the children.
- California State Prison-Corcoran staff successfully completed their 2014 Christmas Adopt-a-Child Program, donating more than 150 wrapped gifts, 50 jackets and six bicycles to the Corcoran Emergency Aid Center for delivery to children in the community of Corcoran.
- The Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and Ironwood State Prison chapters of the Chicano Correctional Workers Association donated Thanksgiving meals to 10 local families.