OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The backyard brigade is hard at work. These face mask wearing, heavily sanitized volunteers are an assembly line of efficiency.
They are stuffing care packages for Mabel Bassett inmates.
“A lot of people are thinking about them and care about them,” volunteer Susan Esco said.
You can’t see the smiles, but there is an undeniable joy of giving.
“Stuff the bags, zip the bags, all that good stuff, “volunteer Patricia Wilson said.
The bags are being filled with a potpourri of gifts that will come in handy during this isolation.
“This anti-bacterial soap is the prized possession,” Esco said. “We have ball point pens, candy, colored pencils, and a journal. And our Wings gift is a hygiene package that special needs adults put together.”
This project is a collaboration of local businesses and non-profits.
Recently, SUV’s loaded to capacity pulled up to the gates of Mabel Bassett Correctional Center.
The boxes contain 1300 pouches of gifts – one for every single inmate. Among those volunteers, Oklahoma First Lady Sarah Stitt.
“I’m so grateful that you didn’t forget those that so many others would not have thought about,” First Lady Stitt said.
The bags don’t have much monetary value, but the Warden believes they are a priceless gift to the women.
“They understand that they’re being thought of and not just left behind,” Warden Aboutanna El Habti said. “It’s definitely a morale booster. It’s definitely something to pass the time.”
Each care package includes these words of encouragement. “Many of your volunteers, ministries, and individuals from OKC have come together hoping this gift bag will be a little reminder that you are remembered, cared for and prayed for during this difficult time. We will get through this together.”
From the backyard to the prison bunk – volunteers don’t have to be inside to have a positive impact on inmates.