Inmates Make Toys For Holiday Season
11/30/2010
WHAG-TV - Online

View Clip

CUMBERLAND, MD - At first glance it may seem like any ordinary workshop, but the workers are also inmates at the Western Correctional Institution and they are putting their talents to good use making toys for kids.

"I'm enjoying doing what I'm doing, because I know it's for children," says Renard Ingram, Inmate at WCI. "We try to put all our best efforts in doing that."

Ingram and the other two inmates are apart of the toy shop program at the prison and make more than 70 toys a day. This year, what they make will become gifts for Garrett Mentors, an organization tutoring underprivileged kids.

"Our children mostly come from challenging home situations," says Tricia Cheesman, the director of Garrett Mentors. "The children may or may not have Christmas gifts."

Garrett Mentor kids will not be the only ones receiving these toys this year.

"They are given out to underprivileged children throughout the area and we also give them to the Maryland State Police to keep in their cruisers for accident victims," says Debra Kisamore, office supervisor for the case manager department.

While the inmates do have templates to help them make the toys, some are made using their own imagination. The toys have been made with delicate details, but they are also safe for the child receiving it.

"We try to keep everything child friendly," says Ingram, "So it's safe for a child to play with and the sides aren't too sharp so they won't hurt themselves or anything they can swallow."