Per Darlene Mitchell, the Warden’s assistant at To.C.I, the O.H.I.O group is a good example of one of the organizations within the facility as “they promote the importance of cultural awareness, working together and most importantly working together to make a difference in the community.”
When the O.H.I.O group was presented with the opportunity to contribute to Toledo Correctional Institution’s Coats for Kids Program, they were immediately on board. The group officers and members worked in partnership with their staff sponsor Katherine Rodríguez, and were able to raise funds by selling Mexican foods, blankets and crafts.
Their joint efforts allowed them to donate a total of $800 to the Coats for Kids Program at the facility; this enabled the staff at To.C.I to reach their goal and purchase coats, hats and gloves for every student enrolled at Spring Elementary School.
The coats were delivered by To.C.I staff to the school on Monday December 17, 2012. According to the Warden’s Assistant, Darlene Mitchell, the facility chose to contribute to the students of Spring Elementary school because they have worked with this school in the past and believe it is important to help make a difference within the Toledo community.
Ms. Mitchell also informed this reporter that allowing the Ohio Hispanic Inmate Organization to participate with faculty and other groups at the prison was a great opportunity for the inmates to experience firsthand how to work together toward a common goal. This experience not only provided the inmates with a feeling of gratification, but, also a sense of responsibility for doing a good deed of giving back to the community.
In addition to the Coats for Kids Program, the facility also refurbishes bikes and distributes them to the children in the community through Children Services. They look forward to doing more programs in the future such as Coats for Kids.