Volunteers collect toys for inmates’ children

two inmates look at gifts on table
By Lt. Shanae Meacham, South Idaho Correctional Institution

3 Oaks Ministries, Inc. was happy to partner with the Idaho Department of Correction for the 2018 toy drive benefiting the children of incarcerated parents. 

Several Volunteer and Religious Coordinators working within the department reached out to the IDOC volunteer base to request donations for the drive. 

In addition, members of the 3 Oaks board reached out to community groups and individual volunteers seeking donations for the event. 

This benefitted several facilities in the South Boise Complex who were able to distribute the gifts according to each facility’s leadership team.

At SICI, a continued focus on strengthening the bonds between family and incarcerated parents has been an important element in motivating inmates to be successful. 

Donations were displayed for the inmates who were eligible and signed up for the event. The donated gifts covered a wide range of age groups and interests, giving parents the ability to choose appropriately for their children.  

Once gifts were chosen, the parents wrapped the gifts using donated wrapping materials and prepared for visiting sessions on December 15th.

Visiting staff Cpl. Crawford and Officer B. Brown teamed up with Program Manager Ron Cook—who is a close friend of Santa Claus—to ensure that the incarcerated parents could give gifts to their children during the holiday season. 

Santa made an appearance throughout the day so that families could get photos and spend quality time together in visiting. 

3 Oaks Ministries and Idaho Department of Correction look forward to continuing this tradition for future events and greatly appreciate the community support that allowed for this event to take place.

Story published: 12/18/2018
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