Community Involvement, COVID-19, Rehabilitation

RJ Donovan Correctional Facility raises $42k for charities

A large over-sized check is presented to a charity. Shown are two men and one woman, all wearing face coverings.
Joe Zilvinskis, left, receives a check from Warden (A) M. Pollard and CDW R. Buckel.

Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJD) donated $42,565.99 to several non-profit organizations thanks to recent food sale fundraisers. COVID-19 specific protocols were followed. RJD Warden (A) M. Pollard along with Community Resource Manager R. Kroll organized and hosted these events.

With non-profit organizations working harder with less as they try to help those affected by COVID-19, staff and the incarcerated population at RJD identified several in need of extra help.

To that end, funds were donated to Neighborhood House Association, American Combat Veterans of War, Special Olympics of Southern California, Interfaith Shelter Network, Jackie Robinson Family YMCA, Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The food bank said they were able to provide over 600,000 meals thanks to the donation.

“We’re very appreciative of the generous donation from the inmates and grateful that they chose us as one of their recipients,” said Joe Zilvinskis, Interfaith Shelter Network Director of Operations. “These funds will provide basic services for San Diegans in need. They are especially needed in these difficult times.”

The food sales would not be possible without a valued partnership with small, locally-owned food vendors willing to offer their services to the RJD inmates. They included Chick-Fil-A, Roberto’s Catering Service,and Fatte’s Pizza.

As for the RJDCF incarcerated population, they were excited to have some normalcy during a time of uncertainty. One incarcerated man, Mendez, said he views the fundraisers as an opportunity to make amends and let the community know that “we think about you.”