Incarcerated Men Raise Thousands Through Fundraiser
For more than 10 years, men at the Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI) have held an annual fundraiser to make sure kids have a merry Christmas. Last summer they raised money for Angel Tree®, a Prison Fellowship® program that helps ensure that children of incarcerated parents receive a special Christmas gift and personalized note from their parent.
The men at OSCI, a medium-security, 900-person facility in Salem, Oregon, "get really excited because of what Angel Tree is," says George Escalante, recreation specialist at OSCI. "Some of their kids actually benefit from it."
'I CAN DO SOMETHING GOOD'
On Aug. 16, 2019, a group of men at OSCI hosted a barbeque, a walkathon, and fundraising booths. Wonderful smells filled the air at OSCI's large yard. The barbeque featured cheeseburgers, barbecue chicken, hot dogs, and more. There were events and games set up all around the yard.
Hundreds of people participated in the walkathon, each earning one penny per lap. After three and a half hours and hundreds of laps, walkers had earned hundreds of dollars, including donations from prisoner clubs. The event raised more than $4,000—a new record for the fundraiser!
The money they raised went to Angel Tree, which last year helped more than 300,000 kids with an incarcerated parent received a Christmas gift, the Gospel message, and a special note from their parent. Since its beginning, Angel Tree has helped deliver more than 11 million such gifts to children.
"When you do something to help others, it's giving back to the community, and it's a really, really positive thing," said George. "It's a great message, a great cause. The result is priceless at all levels. It's helping guys realize, ‘'I can do something good.'"
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