SAYRE, Okla. -- The hustle of the holiday. This office resembles Santa’s workshop.
The Warden at North Fork Correctional Center presented his staff with a Christmas challenge. According to Jeri Horn, “He said, do you think you can spend $3,000? I said yes!” She took that cash to the nearest superstore and loaded five baskets with toys, blankets and more.
Horn was surprised to learn the source of the windfall. “I was impressed when I was told who had given the money.”
Some of the 2,200 inmates here saved and donated the money. Several thousand dollars, earmarked for underprivileged families in surrounding communities.
One of this year’s recipients is Action Associates. This non profit meets the physical and spiritual needs of battered women and their children in four western Oklahoma counties. Aleta Lohberger with Action Associates said, “ It touches my heart and am so thankful. You become emotionally involved with these these women. You hear their stories and the trauma they’ve been through. It makes you feel good to know that you could be a bright spot.”
This year, there is considerable need for assistance. “I made a list and checked it twice. I gave it to them and they are giving them all Christmas gifts,’ Lohberger said.
26 women and 53 boys and girls will receive toys, blankets, hand knitted mittens and scarves and a mountain of other gifts to place under the Christmas tree. Jeri Horn said, “I hope they enjoy it and feel as blessed as I did shopping for them.”
For one day -- The men here at North Fork hope their past is forgotten and their present remembered.
Who could have ever imagined – prison would be the source of so much Christmas joy?