Correctional facilities from the Division of Correction, Division of Pretrial Detention and Services and Patuxent Institution did everything from donating food and gifts to local families and charities, to working with inmates to make toys for children. Patuxent held a unique "pillow drive" that asked for new sheets, blankets and pillows to donate to a nearby homeless shelter. Western Correctional Institution staff and inmates hand-made quilts to donate to local charities in Cumberland. And the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore held a breakfast with Santa for local school children.
Several correctional officers from the Baltimore area also participated in the annual WMAR TV Toy Drive. Law enforcement officers from all over the city come together to "drive" toys in their marked vehicles to the homes of less fortunate families. DPSCS has assisted with this holiday event for many years.
At the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions staff reached out to their local community by sending holiday cards to troops and collecting food for the Human Services Program of Carroll County. They also continued their tradition of supporting patients of Springfield Hospital - located next to their complex in Sykesville - by donating small gifts such as clothing, reading materials, toiletries and recreational equipment. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Board is also helping charities close to their daily routine of victim services by collecting toys for the Washington County Child Advocacy Center and the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence.
The Division of Parole and Probation, which has offices in every county in Maryland as well as several in Baltimore City, also got in on the holiday spirit. The Bel Air office collected toiletries for local veterans while the Aberdeen employees had a mitten tree for children at a local elementary school. Silver Spring employees donated food items to a homeless shelter. Other offices adopted families for the holiday, including an employee out of the Ellicott City office who had been down on her luck during 2010. Central administration offices donated food to Baltimore's Bea Gaddy Family Center and staff from the Community Surveillance Enforcement Program held a "toys for kids" campaign.
A special thank you to all DPSCS staff who made these and many more charity activities possible.