THE CHRISTMAS spirit has fallen upon the inmates at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre and they have unselfishly donated non-perishable items to help feed local children over the holiday period.
Local charity, the Shalom House of Hope, which is popularly known as The Saving Place, was the recipient of the inmates’ donations. The charity feeds children in need every day along the Mid North Coast.
Baptistcare chaplain at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre, James Deaton, organised the donations but admits the inmates weren’t given enough notice to prepare.
“Unfortunately it was a last minute idea and the system that is set in place allows inmates to order food for the following week,” Mr Deaton explained.
“There were some inmates who didn’t have non-perishable foods to donate and they requested if they could send money.
“Almost half of the inmates donated an item, which is pretty incredible considering the short notice.”
Officers and other staff members at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre also contributed to the not-for-profit charity.
Mr Deaton said he plans to give an opportunity for the inmates to donate goods and money every year and they will be given more notice next year and the ability to donate money too.
Founder of The Saving Place, Dave Davis, was thankful.
“It is pretty incredible. We received a car load of stuff and everything helps,” Mr Davis said.
“It is great to see people who are earning a second chance do something for the local community to make people in a tough situation improve their lifestyle of living.”
The Saving Place goes through two to four tonnes of food every week and feeds students at schools on a daily basis as well as giving food to places such as the PCYC Kempsey.
Mr Davis has been completing charity work since 1999 and started the program in the Macleay Valley in 2012, and it has expanded across the Mid North Coast.