Community Involvement

SAC, SCC, CTF, CIW, PVSP help those in need

CDCR, CCHCS and DJJ staff are known for efforts to help the those in need, especially during the holidays. Toys, winter supplies and food find their way to charities and less fortunate families, thanks to correctional staff.

CSP-Sacramento staff help over 100 people with holidays

Throughout November, staff at California State Prison-Sacramento (SAC) helped over 100 children, extended youth, and seniors through a gifting program.

While most celebrate holidays surrounded by friends and family, many don’t have those. SAC staff remembers those who may be without, including foster children, dependent adults and seniors.

For the last 30 years, Sacramento County’s Gifts from the Heart Program helped thousands of people. The annual holiday gift-giving program runs from mid-November until early December. The program serves those within Child Protective Services, and Senior and Adult Services. Both are under the Sacramento County Department of Child, Family and Adult Services.

Over 90 community partners, including businesses, government agencies, service groups and families, donate gifts to the cause.

Each year, Sacramento County’s Gifts from the Heart Program helps more than 4,000 children, extended youth, disabled adults and seniors. An estimated 13,000 gifts are distributed throughout Sacramento County.

Submitted by Lt. Erik Altvatter

Sierra Conservation Center collects toys, coats

Sierra Conservation Center (SCC) and conservation camps gathered coats and toys for families in need this holiday season.

SCC staff and the Employee and Community Benefit Association (ECBA), a registered non-profit, participated in a Holiday Toy and Coat Drive. It is estimated that over 100 toys and just as many winter items were collected.

Ten full bags of toys and five full bags of winter clothes were delivered to the Amador Tuolumne Community Action Agency, the group who delivers donations to families in need within the local community.

Donations were received from as far as Francisquito Conservation Camp (CC #4). The camp donated a big box of toys, adding to those already donated by staff at SCC.

California Correctional Healthcare Services (CCHCS) staff also felt the holiday spirit, actively spreading the word to increase toy and coat donations.

By Lt. Ruben S. Jauregui

CTF joins others for Cops Giving Tree

Underprivileged families received dinner and gifts at the Soledad Community Center as part of the annual Cops Giving Tree event held Dec. 9.

Soledad Police Department, Soledad Unified School District, the Correctional Training Facility (CTF) and Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) work together to purchase toys, food and beverages for underprivileged families.

Overall, CTF raised $5,000 for Cops Giving Tree.

While waiting for Santa to arrive, families enjoyed dinner and dessert served by CDCR staff and Soledad Police.

During the event over 200 gifts were handed out to families and children by representatives from CTF, SVSP, the Soledad Police Chief and Santa Claus.

By Lt. Wil Landrum

CIW helps Make a Child Smile; adopts local school; helps Salvation Army

MAKE A CHILD SMILE: Staff from California Institution for Women (CIW) participated in the 2022 Make a Child Smile event Dec. 14.

Chino Valley Fire Chief Dave Williams, acting CIW Warden Jennifer Core and Chief Deputy Warden Delinia Lewis greeted and presented local elementary school children with a $150 gift card to purchase gifts. The event was hosted by Chino Valley Fire and Walmart.

In all, 150 children from local elementary schools had the opportunity to visit the local fire stations and go on a holiday shopping spree picking out gifts for their families.

SCHOOL HELP: Leslie Frazier, who spent 20 years at Our Lady of Perpetual Help school educating her three children, and CIW sponsored 16 children from the school, providing five bicycles and a tricycle. They also gave dozens of extra gifts to children in emergency-relief housing.

In addition to gifts provided from the school sign-up and a stuffed animal, every child over 13 received a backpack, six pairs of socks and a beanie. Children younger than 13 received a beanie, a pair of gloves, and a tote bag.

Pacific Coast Dreaming, The Chavez-Ortiz Family, and CIW bought the extra gifts.

SALVATION ARMY: CIW partnered with Ontario Salvation Army for their annual Angel Tree purchase gifts for children. Staff responded mid-November by purchasing gifts for 87 children. “This is one of the most wonderful times of the year. I want CIW to be involved in helping out our community,” said Warden Core.

Learn more about the Salvation Army’s holiday giving programs.

By Lt. William Newborg

PVSP staff get behind Coalinga Toy Drive

Partnering with the City of Coalinga, Pleasant Valley State Prison (PVSP) staff got behind the third annual Toy Drive. 

Beginning Nov. 14, with encouragement from acting Warden Tristan Lemon and administrative staff, the Community Resource Office organized a toy drive. Because of staff’s generosity, families on the list were checked off and new families were helped.

On Dec. 20, a holiday event hosted by Coalinga City staff included a visit with Santa, a scare from the Grinch, a free-book room and Santa’s Workshop. Before the big event, PVSP staff delivered the gifts to City Hall.

“During this time of giving, it’s important to gather resources and join forces supporting our community. I am so proud of PVSP staff and all the gift donations,” said acting Warden Tristan Lemon.

Submitted by Lt. C. Mendoza


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