Community Involvement

CDCR staff donate backpacks, school supplies

Across the state, CDCR staff gathered backpacks and school supplies for local students heading back to to school.

CHCF helps students, teachers at Montezuma school

For the second time within a year, California Health Care Facility staff visited students of Montezuma School. This time, instead of carrying Christmas gifts, CHCF staff arrived with a van full of school supplies.

Some staff attending included:

  • Acting Warden Gena Jones
  • Public Information Officer Wilona Lewis
  • Correctional Lieutenant Michelle Orozco
  • Acting Community Resource Manager Jasmin Guevara
  • Correctional Officer Daisy Hernandez.

Thanks to support from staff and retailers like Target, Walmart and Costco, CHCF was distributed:

  • over 10,000 pencils
  • 2,300 pens
  • 700, crayons
  • 480 notebooks
  • 500 drawstring backpacks
  • and other school supplies.

With generous donations, CHCF was able to give every student school supplies. They also gave every teacher classroom supplies including facial tissue, hand sanitizer, dry eraser markers, construction paper and writing paper.

Thanks to an anonymous donor and the Chicano Correctional Workers Association, six children who lost parents also received a $100 Visa gift card.

By Lieutenant Wilona Lewis

Ironwood prison staff donate supplies for kids

On August 6, Ironwood State Prison (ISP) participated in the Summer Safety Extravaganza held at the Colorado River Fairgrounds in Blythe. The ISP Team distributed backpacks and school supplies to children in the community.

The free event was hosted by:

  • Blythe Police Activities League
  • Riverside County Probation Department
  • District 4B HOPE Regional Collaborative
  • and RAP Foundation.

The event featured free food, games, music, prizes, water toys, information about community services, and family activities.

Distributing 200 backpacks filled with school supplies were:

  • Community Resources Manager Carey Ochs
  • Captain (A) Heriberto Mora
  • Protestant Chaplain Samuel Burton
  • Retired Correctional Officer Edward Ochs
  • and Associate Governmental Program Analyst Stacie Minor-Amaya.

For a month before the event, ISP staff collected donated backpacks with enough school supplies to fill them.

Members of the Recruitment Team were also on hand to pass out school supplies. In addition to the backpacks, the recruiters discussed CDCR job opportunities with the community. 

“This has been a tough year for everyone. We loved the idea of doing something fun for the youth in our community because our priority is to help when we can and believe education is the key to a successful life. We hope this small token assists the children of the community and motivates them to get excited about returning to school and face-to-face instruction,” said Warden Neill McDowell.

By Lieutenant J. Zavala

Mule Creek prison staff donates

Nexus Youth and Family Services, a non-profit organization in Amador County, reached out to Mule Creek State Prison asking for help with backpacks. The group’s goal was 400 new backpacks for local school children. Knowing how important a new backpack could be to a child, lifting spirits on their first day at school, prison staff rallied behind the effort.

Mule Creek stepped up in a big way, not only filling the shortfall of 100 backpacks, but going far beyond, collecting over 200 in five days. In all, the non-profit group ended up with 585 backpacks to help the community. The items were distributed throughout Amador County.

“A special thanks to the Mule Creek State Prison Employees Association, Warden’s Management team, Records Department and all the amazing Mule Creek family who helped bring a smile to a child’s face,” said prison organizers.

By Lieutenant Beau Campbell

PVSP donates school supplies, bikes

Presented during National Night Out in Coalinga, a back-to-school supply drive to benefit students for the upcoming year was held at Pleasant Valley State Prison. 

Organized by Justin Nugent, Community Resource Manager (A), and Community Resource staff, the supply drive collected backpacks, notebooks, pencils, crayons and various school supplies to outfit 400 underprivileged students attending schools in Coalinga. 

Prison staff were very generous with their donations and helped reach their goal.

“Let’s help Coalinga students start out with a great school year,” urged Marissa Trejo, City Manager, City of Coalinga, when speaking of the supply drive.

In addition, PVSP Bike Program donated 25 refurbished bikes to Faith Christian Academy High School in Coalinga to pass out to students there.

For many exchange students coming from international countries, this will be their only transportation to school, sports practice and school events. 

By Lieutenant Carlos Mendoza

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