Inmates Show Their Holiday Spirit

December 13, 2007
Contact: Elise Schaffer, PIO Phone: (608) 284-6142 Email: schaffer@co.dane.wi.us
Sheriff's Office

The holidays are a time of year when it seems everyone’s generosity towards those less fortunate is abundant. The many of us that are blessed with health and prosperity often donate to charities this time of year. Inmates from the Dane County Jail may not fit the stereotype of Santa’s helpers, but thanks to the jail’s volunteer program, they are busy lending a helping hand to the numerous holiday food and gift drives that take place before Christmas. Despite their own misfortunes, these inmates volunteer what they have…their time…to make the holiday brighter for someone in need. Today volunteers are working at the Salvation Army Darbo building handing out presents from the Adopt-a-Family program. They spent the day on Wednesday moving all the gifts from UW Hospital over to the Salvation Army where they will be distributed. The group also spent time on Wednesday working with members of Calvary Gospel Church on the Empty Stocking program at the Alliant Energy Center. The inmate volunteers will continue to donate their time over the weekend and into the coming week by wrapping gifts and helping with distribution at Toys for Tots. In 2006, inmates from the Dane County Jail volunteered a total of 18,965 hours to local charities and non-profit organizations. The program is lead by a half-time volunteer coordinator. As part of the 2008 budget, Sheriff David Mahoney plans to expand the volunteer program by making the coordinator a full-time position. ###