LINDA HERMANN, Pasco
The Cultural Giveaway Program is the brainchild of an inmate at Coyote Ridge Correction Center. Thirty-five men are learning to crochet and knit. They use their skills and creativity to make stuffed animals, hats, scarves, mittens and bags for needy children. It might be the only new apparel they get this year.
Inmates also create Native American ribbon shirts, beaded moccasins, drums and more for foster children and elders. Some of the articles are sent to the United Indian Nation for distribution to foster children and elders.
Other articles are delivered to Project Warm-up in Franklin County. Recently, a box of hats, scarves, mittens and bags were distributed to children in the Mid-Columbia thanks to the efforts of these men.
They receive no reward for giving their time and talent for children they will probably never meet. The cost of supplies is dependent on donations; some from inmates who only earn 30 cents per hour.
The men are excited and proud to be doing something positive for someone else. They only gather for two hours every other week, because they cannot meet without an outside sponsor present.
If you are interested in donating supplies or wish to volunteer to come into the prison and teach a skill, contact Mike McCourtie at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, P.O. Box 769, Connell, WA 99326.