Department of Corrections hosts toy drive for children of jailed parents

Department of Corrections hosts toy drive for children of jailed parents

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Corrections is going the extra mile this holiday season. The reality is many parents spend Christmas behind bars, and that means their children often go without.

Some parole officers are looking to change that this year with a different type of holiday toy drive.

Radio personality Community Clovia and the folks at Toys for Tots, among others, are providing closets full of toys for children whose parents are behind bars or perhaps just getting out of jail.

"We don't want them pressured right here at the holiday season of trying to provide gifts for their children," said Lawrence. "So what the parole and re-entry officers have done ... they are going to foot the bill and take care of the children."

They have collected more than 1,000 toys for children as old as 13 years old. It was a real community effort.

"We are going to put smiles on faces this year," said senior probation officer Sherla Hendricks. "I can tell you that."

Hendricks says they are prepared to served 66 children.

"We could only facilitate a certain amount," said Hendricks. "So we had to split it into. We have a session in the morning and then a session in the afternoon."

This is being called the department's largest holiday toy distribution yet.

"It's a party," said Lawrence. "We are talking about probation and parole. It's not your old probation and parole. It's a culture shift."

The party is Monday, Dec. 19. They hope to have an even bigger event next year. They just need community partners to sign up to donate toys.

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