Community Involvement

CDCR, CCHCS spread holiday cheer through acts of kindness

CDCR sergeant and child with shopping cart.
ISU Sergeant A. Walsh and a child get ready to shop.

Across the state, CDCR/CCHCS programs, offices and institutions are helping their communities this holiday season. Through fundraisers, toy drives, or feeding the hungry, staff go above and beyond to help those in need. We want to hear from your institution (CDCR, CCHCS and DJJ) so others can help as well. Send the details to the editor following these guidelines.

Chuckawalla, Ironwood prisons help kids as Civil Servants for Santa

Two state prisons joined other regional law enforcement agencies and fire departments to assist 100 under-privileged children. The effort, dubbed Civil Servants for Santa, saw Chuckawalla Valley (CVSP) and Ironwood prison (ISP) staff come together December 4 as a way to contribute to the community.

The children were paired with civil servants from agencies such as Arizona Department of Transportation, Blythe Police Department, Blythe Fire Department, Cal Fire, Riverside County Probation, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, California Highway Patrol and staff from CVSP and ISP.

As a surprise, Santa Claus arrived on a fire truck and interacted with the children while shopping. The children chose gifts for themselves and in most cases, also picked something special for younger siblings or other family members. When they left the store, they were given their own Santa hat and a bag of goodies provided by the CVSP Employees’ Association.

A special thank you to CVSP Community Resources Manager Kenny Kalian, Staff Services Analyst
Cecy Arzate, Blythe’s Police Activity League and everyone who worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this event.

“Thanks to everyone for their generosity and hard work making this special event a memorable one for the children who participated and the Civil Servants who experienced firsthand, the joy and pride the children expressed during their shopping spree,” said CVSP Warden David Holbrook.

Submitted by Lieutenant JJ Hernandez.

San Diego parole staff brighten holidays through Shop with a Cop

Parole agent and child at SeaWorld in San Diego.
Parole Agents in the San Diego region took part in Shop with a Cop.

San Diego parole agents participated in the 28th annual Shop with a Cop event on December 4. Roughly 300 peace officers from San Diego County teamed with 300 deserving third-graders for a fun-filled day beginning with breakfast, a private dolphin and whale show at SeaWorld San Diego, and then went holiday shopping at Target.

The goal is to provide children with a happier holiday season, but also build meaningful relationships between law enforcement and youth through non-enforcement interactions that can cultivate communal trust and lay the groundwork for an ethical community policing model.

Shop with a Cop is an annual event hosted by local law enforcement agencies, led this year by the Coronado Police Department and San Diego Harbor Police Department, as well as STAR/PAL (Sports Training, Academics, Recreation/Police Athletic League), SeaWorld, and Target.

Law enforcement officers from over 20 local, state, and federal agencies participated in the event by partnering with a school on their beat and spending the day getting to better know the youth and families they serve in the neighborhoods they patrol and supervise.

Youth participants were selected from local elementary schools by counselors and teachers as well as officer referrals. Ten parole agents were paired with ten students from the Los Altos Elementary School, near the Chula Vista Parole office.

CCHCS hosts December sock and toy drive

CCHCS volunteers deliver a check and food to a food bank.
CCHCS volunteers, from left, are Elizabeth Gransee, Jennifer Corcoran, Peter Quinones, and Kyle Buis.

Thanks to the generosity of CCHCS staff at headquarters, Central Fill Pharmacy and the Health Records Center, 397 pounds of food items and $320 in monetary contributions were delivered to the Elk Grove Food Bank on November 19. With this outpouring of giving, many individuals and families were able to celebrate with a nourishing meal on Thanksgiving.

In that same holiday spirit, CCHCS HQ will host a Toy & Sock Donation Drive to benefit the community. We will be accepting new unwrapped toys for children under the age of 11 and all sizes of new socks or other new items of warm clothing through December 16. Toys will be donated to the Elk Grove Police Department Toy Drive. Socks and warm clothing will be taken to a Sacramento County shelter to be determined.

We will also accept monetary donations which will be used in coordination with the receiving charity.

Similar to the food drive, volunteers will be in the courtyard from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. between Buildings C & D at the Elk Grove campus on Wednesday, December 8; Monday, December 13; and Wednesday, December 15. At other times, donations may be left in Room 103 of Building C, first floor.

If you have any questions, would like to hear about virtual donation options, need a receipt for your donation or would like to volunteer to help with the donation drive, contact the CCHCS Office of Communications at

Headquarters is collecting Toys for Tots

As the holiday season and New Year approach, CDCR Headquarters is collaborating with the Sacramento Marine Corps Toys for Tots project. Their mission is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute them to less fortunate children for the holidays.

Last year, the Marine Corps Toys for Tots distributed 19,557 toys to support 6,045 children in the Sacramento area. Organizers hope to help even more children this year.

In late November, Marine Corps Toys for Tots Bins were placed in both lobbies of Headquarters at 1515 S Street in Sacramento.

Staff who wish to participate may simply place new unwrapped toys in the marked bins no later than December 20, 2021. CDCR or CCHCS staff may also donate online.

Frequently asked questions may be found at the Toys for Tots website:

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