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Publication date: Monday, 18 December 2017
Staff and inmates at Kirkconnell Correctional Centre spread some festive cheer this weekend by donating over 50 Christmas hampers to families and children in need.
Non-perishable treats like puddings, canned meat and fruit, dried fruit, biscuits, cake mixes, condiments, lollies, jams, pasta, canned soup and long life milk were collected, with a further $5,000 raised by staff and inmates through fundraising and donations.
Manager of Security Lennox Peter drove the initiative and said that the centre has always been a good neighbour to the community.
"I wanted to spread that goodwill even further this festive season, and we wanted to ensure that the children in these families could enjoy a Christmas meal," Mr Peter said.
"To see the joy on those little kiddies' faces as they opened those hampers brightened my day up far more than any Christmas tree."
Kirkconnell chaplain Tim Abbey worked with local charities such as St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army and Anglicare to identify those families most in need.
Staff and their families spent the weekend packing the hampers, and then distributing them to eligible families.
In acknowledging everyone's selfless efforts over the weekend, Mr Peter made special mention of colleagues Susie McLean and Penny Wellings, without whose tireless assistance, he says, he couldn't have pulled it all together as quickly.
"We often confuse Christmas with getting presents, rather than the real spirit of the season," Mr Peter said.
"It's about coming together to give back and to look after our community, which is what the many dedicated staff at Corrective Services NSW do every other day."