N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--January 1998

Children Unwrap Gifts Thanks to DOC Angel Tree

Nearly 600 children and senior citizens will have their Christmas brightened thanks to an Angel Tree project organized by a group of North Carolina Department of Correction employees.

Sec. Jarvis and Abigail Sanchez
of the Oxford Masonic Orphanage

"This project is what the spirit of Christmas is all about," said state Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis, speaking to more than 500 employees to kick off the Angel Tree project. "In the last year, correction employees have heroically rescued traffic accident victims, helped communities recover from hurricanes and ice storms, collected caps for children being treated for cancer and contributed to their communities in many ways. Thinking of others during the busy holiday season is another fine example of our employees’s spirit of caring, concern and action."

With Jarvis’s support, Gloria Shephard of the department’s Management Information Systems office organized the project that asked correction employees working in Wake County to provide gifts for those in need.

"We wanted to do something that would have an impact in the community," Shepherd said. "We wanted people to see that we’re not just an agency of discipline, but of love as well."

Shepherd and a team of correction employees volunteered their time and contacted Wake County Human Services and the Salvation Army for the names of people who needed help. Other employees recommended the department help the Central Children’s Home of North Carolina and the Oxford Masonic Orphanage, both in Oxford. And 60 correction employees who were recovering from crises were also included. In all, Shepherd said the department’s Angel Tree was filled with 585 names.

Gloria Shepherd,
Angel Tree organizer

The Angel Tree names and their wishes were circulated through correction offices in November. All but a few names were selected. A fundraising project insured gifts for all. A number of food baskets were prepared for senior citizens. Transportation arrangements were made to grant a Wendell woman’s request, so her 71-year-old brother could make the trip from a Raleigh nursing center to visit her home Christmas day. Another group of correction employees took on the special task of finding bicycles that children requested on their wish list. Some offices pooled their resources to buy new bikes and others made repairs to used two--wheelers.

Teresa Ramano, Albert Anderson, Doug Holbrook, William Parrish, Emilie Holloway, Audrey Bailey, Betty Chapman, Sarah Wilder, Brenda Patrick, Debra Dixon, Wanda Brown, Ina Hinton and Crystal Bowles helped to coordinate the project.

NC DOC Correction News- January 1998
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