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IDOC's spirit of giving  

IDOC's spirit of giving
Pictured from left are Executive Secretary III Connie Ameter, Correctional Counselor II Sharon Pierce and Warden Marc Hodge at Lawrence Correctional Center.

SPRINGFIELD – January 12, 2012 - Throughout the year, the Illinois Department of Corrections reaches out to help those in need. In the spirit of giving, IDOC generously contributed to organizations to help ensure that thousands of families who are less fortunate celebrated a joyous holiday season.

“IDOC employees have an excellent reputation of supporting their communities throughout the year,” said IDOC Director S. A. Godinez. “This past holiday season is just one example of how IDOC employees serve as a good neighbor in their communities by providing assistance through exceptional giving.”

Below are examples of how IDOC correctional facilities and parole reach out to help communities by giving gifts, clothing, food and by holding toy drives:

Lawrence Correctional Center once again worked with Head Start to provide Christmas gifts to children in Lawrence and Richland counties. The facility continues to participate in the Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe Campaign through the donation of clothing items. Collected items are also donated to the SWAN Domestic Violence Shelter and the SWAN Homeless Shelter. The center also participated in the Shop with a Cop Program.

Pontiac Correctional Center teamed up with the Salvation Army and adopted 100 children who are in need in the community by providing them with holiday gifts. Staff also supported the local food pantry in Livingston County by providing food and clothing items.

Vandalia Correctional Center partnered with One Hope United – Hudelson Region Residential Services in Centralia. Items were collected and donated for its Caring and Sharing: Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe Program.

Illinois River Correctional Center donated toys to Head Start and clothing to Cuba’s Closet, which was distributed to the community. Also, staff helped a family in the Canton area who had been identified as being in need for the holiday. Toys, clothing, food and more than $1,000 were collected to enable the family to have a joyous holiday.

Jacksonville Correctional Center continues to participate with programs locally during the holidays, such as Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe by donating coats, hats and gloves as well as the local Angel Tree Program. This holiday season, the facility saw the largest participation of staff serve the Angel Tree Program to help those in and around Greene County. Staff was able to improve the holiday season for 50 children.

Western Illinois Correctional Center staff collected money for the Adopt-A-Family Program of Brown County. Monetary donations and gifts were provided for three small children. Also, items for a coat and food drive were taken to the Outreach Center in Brown County, which also serves surrounding counties.

Graham Correctional Center participated in a toy and clothing drive, which was provided to Taylor Springs Centennial Committee for children in the Taylor Springs area. Through monetary donations and gifts, the facility was able to collect more than $500 worth of toys and clothing. The facility also contributed approximately $600 worth of food items for Thanksgiving to the local food bank, CEFS Food Pantry, in Taylor Springs. The facility additionally delivered 1,100 pounds of turnips grown in its institutional gardens.

Big Muddy River Correctional Center participated in a holiday coat and food drive with more than 350 food items and 200 winter clothing articles being donated to two churches. A summer food drive also benefits local food pantries in the Big Muddy River area, focusing on children’s food needs while they are out of school.

Menard Correctional Center provided assistance to Toys for Tots. Offenders in the Correctional Industries Program at Menard donated more than $1,100 to the U.S. Marine Corps League Toys for Tots Program of Randolph County.

Decatur Adult Transition Center staff and offenders made several donations to the Decatur community this year by participating in Coats for Tots. Hats and mittens were also donated to DOVE and more than 60 toys were provided to Toys for Tots. Offenders also donated $1,500 to two separate charities this year. Lutheran Children and Family Services and Decatur Day Care were both given a $750 check to provide for gifts for children in their care.

Taylorville Correctional Center kicked off its annual Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe Drive in November. Employees donated food and clothing items, which were delivered to the Shadow Home in Taylorville. Offenders in the Taylorville Correctional Center veteran’s group also held two recent food drives for the Taylorville Food Pantry and Pana Food Pantry.

Southwestern Illinois Correctional Center employees participated in an annual coat drive with items being donated to the Hope Center in Cottage Hills. A large box of toys was also donated to the Lessie Bates Davis Community Home in East St. Louis. Several boxes of clothing were donated as well to the Moms and Babies Program at Decatur Correctional Center.

Decatur Correctional Center offenders participated in a food drive competition to benefit a local charity that provides assistance to the needy. Offenders donated and collected 333 pounds of food.

Robinson Correctional Center participated in the Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe Campaign by providing coats and clothing to the SWAN Shelter in Olney with some 250 clothing articles being donated. This is the center’s 6th year in donating clothing to SWAN with each year’s donations growing larger.

Vienna Correctional Center and Dixon Springs Impact Incarceration Program participated in the Coats for Kids annual drive. Vienna Correctional Center has been participating in the program since 2005. The coats, gloves, scarves and hats collected are donated to area charities for children in need.

Danville Correctional Center participated in the Keep Our Kids Warm and Safe Program and donated the items to the Center for Children’s Services, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, and East Park Elementary School. Food items were also donated to the Danville Area Food Bank.

Tamms Correctional Center held its 11th Annual Toy Drive to benefit children in Alexander and Pulaski counties. With the help of staff, more than 140 gifts were donated to the Department of Children and Family Services.

Hill Correctional Center employees held a contest for a food drive between administration and line staff to see who could donate the most pounds of food. A grand total of 966 pounds was collected. Administration raised 438 pounds of food; line staff fell just short with 428 pounds being collected. All items were donated to F.I.S.H., a local food bank; the Resource Mission; and food banks for local residents.

Logan Correctional Center participated in a warm weather gear drive and a food drive. Monies raised helped support Community Action and Lincoln/Logan County Food Pantries with donated canned items also going to food pantries.

Parole Division employees also participated in the spirit of giving, including the donation of holiday gifts to the Lutheran Child and Family Services from the Northwestern – East Parole Office in Chicago.

Asst Warden Casandra Davis,  Exec Sec Kim Fleming at Graham Correctional Center.
Pictured from left are Assistant Warden of Programs Casandra Davis and Executive Secretary Kim Fleming at Graham Correctional Center.
Matt Pogue, Joseph Yurkovich,  Natalie Mason, Rachel Kennedy, Tiffanie Clark, Brian Kane.
Pictured from left are Business Office Administrator Matt Pogue, Warden Joseph Yurkovich, Personnel Representative Natalie Mason, Warden’s Secretary Rachel Kennedy, Correctional Counselor II Tiffanie Clark and Shift Commander Brian Kane.