By Lt. Megan Cherinka, AA/Public Information Officer
California Medical Facility

When California Medical Facility (CMF) was canvassing for out-of-the-box ideas for the giving season, a phone call to a local charity soon set the institution on fulfilling a mission for those who’ve already given so much.

The Hope Home for Homeless Veterans at Mission SOLANO was in dire need of a face lift – new paint, flooring, blinds, curtains, coffee machine, toaster, microwave and much more. Lt. Megan Cherinka and Community Resource Manager David Maldonado hit the ground running. With the holiday spirit alive and well at CMF, they were able to raise $4,119.04 with their first Fill the Boot drive on Dec. 6 (read original story).

Fire Captain Josh Smithee was also able to contact some of his active military brothers and sisters at Beale Air Force Base (940th CES), who also generously donated.

With the help of Vacaville Lowes Manager Robert Visser and Eric Kratzer from Valspar paint, the materials needed for the project were donated at no or low cost for completion of the project.  Costco and In & Out kicked in for food and drink necessary to keep the team hydrated and fed throughout the day.  The local chapter of CCPOA also contributed $250 for the project and much needed necessities for the residents. Recreational Therapist Carla Hunt donated 90 books to fill the shelves with some fresh reading material.

On Dec. 17, at 5:45 a.m., correctional staff and their families came out to show some support for the Hope Home.  With over 25 volunteers, CMF was able to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls, baseboards and all trim; install a new laminate floor, with underlayment and moisture barrier; provide new furnishings, including tables, chairs, sofa, area rug, Blu-Ray player, DVDs, 55-inch new smart TV, wall mount, games, books, coffee maker, microwave, toaster, chairs, new flags for all branches of the military, blinds, curtains, valences and some snacks to enjoy the new movies.

Volunteers came from all areas of CMF, from the Warden and his family, administrative staff and family from outside. They worked until about 5 p.m.

CMF organizers owe a huge thank you to for making the simple phone call become a reality:

  • Robert Fox (Warden) and his family Cari Fox, Lauren Handlin
  • Preston Barker (volunteer) and Ezekial Barker
  • Felix Hopper (Lieutenant ISU) and his family Merle Hopper, Isabel Hopper, Naomi Hopper, Elihu Hopper
  • Jessica Hume (AGPA) with her family Cody Hume, William Hume, Tommy Rice
  • David Maldonado, Community Resource Manager
  • Connie Phillips (Executive Assistant) with her husband Les Phillips
  • Megan Cherinka, PIO
  • John McClellan, Unit III/DSH Captain
  • Joe McAtee, Fire Chief
  • Brian Olson, Correctional Lieutenant
  • Patty Marovich, Office Technician