Pictured from left are Marine Corps League Commander, Detachment 575 Alvin Dickey; Marine Corps League Member, Detachment 575 Lt. Kevin Cartwright; Menard Correctional Center Industries Superintendent Chris Grissom; Marine Corps League Paymaster, Detachment 575 John Preston; and Menard Correctional Center Warden Michael Atchison.
MENARD – Dec. 19, 2011 – Menard Correctional Center inmates working in Illinois Correctional Industries (ICI) made the holidays brighter for the community’s less fortunate children by donating more than $1,100 to the U.S. Marine Corps League Toys for Tots Program of Randolph County.
“Menard is proud to be able to facilitate the good will of these individuals, who so generously gave of their own hard earned income, as meager as it may be,” said Menard Correctional Center Warden Michael Atchison. “It is a fine testament to the Christmas spirit of these workers and we are pleased to help make it happen.”
Menard Correctional Center Industries Superintendent Chris Grissom said the inmates learned through a local news article that Toys for Tots was running short this year because it had more children to buy for than money. The inmates approached Grissom and said they wanted to help buy gifts for the children before Christmas and submitted money vouchers for more than $1,100 to be given to Toys for Tots. Among the donations, one inmate donated $100 and several others donated $50.
"I was very proud of this collective act of generosity demonstrated by the men working in Correctional Industries,” said Grissom. “I am also pleased that they were motivated to help the Marine Corps League bring a smile to a child on Christmas morning."
Warden Atchison presented the check Dec. 15, 2011, to Marine Corps League Commander, Detachment 575 Alvin Dickey.
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.
ICI’s mission is to provide inmates with the skills and training necessary to be successful upon release from prison. ICI performs this objective at no cost to the taxpayers of Illinois. The revenue ICI generates from the sale of its products fully funds its entire operation.
The Illinois Department of Corrections operates 27 prisons throughout Illinois in addition to work camps, boot camps and adult transition centers. The agency is committed to operating a safe and secure prison system as well as enhancing prison-based treatment, prevention programs and the successful reentry of inmates into society, which will lead to lowering recidivism rates.