DJJ Director Anthony Lucero and Dep. Director Heather Bowlds (center) are surrounded by many of the DJJ-HQ staff.

DJJ Director Anthony Lucero and Dep. Director Heather Bowlds, center, are surrounded by many of the DJJ-HQ staff.

By Dominic Hatfield, Research Analyst II
Division of Juvenile Justice

This year’s annual Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services Turkey Drive (in conjunction with the 2016 State Employees Food Drive) was a great success.

On Nov. 18, the turkey drive was boosted, in part, by participation from state agencies stepping up to make a difference in our community.  The CDCR Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) headquarters staff, located at the California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) campus in Elk Grove, once again showed their spirit for giving back.  DJJ, led by Director Anthony Lucero, consisting of approximately 60 headquarters staff, managed to donate an 57 turkeys, totaling 872.33 pounds.

Last year, DJJ donated 15 turkeys to the drive, which equaled about 50 percent of CDCR’s turkey total.

This year, DJJ-HQ aimed to beat that number, setting a modest goal of 25 turkeys.  Their food drive coordinator, Lauren Phan (Office Technician), set out to make the donation process as simple for staff as possible. Staff was educated on the needs of the Food Bank, weekly ads were posted for the best turkey deals, and money was collected to purchase turkeys on behalf of staff who were not able to bring a turkey.  The enthusiasm grew within DJJ-HQ as Turkey Drive donation day approached, and the numbers definitely reflect it.

Out of the 44 state agencies that participated in the Turkey Drive, DJJ’s effort was ranked 14th overall, proving that even a relatively small division can make a huge difference when they set their minds and hearts to it. Building on this momentum, DJJ will now turn their focus to the State Employee’s Food Drive, which ends Jan. 13, 2017.