Inmates giving back to hurricane relief

Hurricane relief efforts are still pouring in from all over the world, and we found one coming from an unlikely place.

When you think of prisoners, the first thing that comes to mind probably isn't giving back. But for some at the state penitentiary, when hurricanes devastated the gulf coast, they decided to step in to help.

"I was excited about it, you know. We had planned to do something like this and to see it come around so fast it was exciting," said Thomas Eagle. 

In total, $623 dollars was raised by both inmates and prison staff. It's going directly to the American Red Cross.

Lacie Zander, a case manager at the state pen said, "We each kind of brainstormed ideas that we wanted to do and at the time, the hurricanes were coming through at the end of August. So, it was really relevant that we wanted to help the victims that needed it the most."

Over 60 inmates donated their own money earned by various jobs around the prison. Whether it be kitchen duty or working in the rec center.

"It was a very good feeling to see that we all came together even though we all have our stressful situations being here, "said Antonio Stridiron.

The cause hits close to home for Stridiron. He's from the Virgin Islands.

He added, "My main family is still down there. I have friends still down there. I actually have been through hurricanes myself too so I know what they were going through. So, it's a good opportunity to not only help them but others in the same situation at the same time."

Jeremy Rodriguez also has family affected by the hurricane in Puerto Rico. So, it was a no-brainer for him to donate what he has, even if it's not much.

"There's people who are going through worse problems than we are, you know. Because here I have clean water. I got food, I got everything. I don't have to be worried if I'm going to get another meal," said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says this fundraiser created a sense of community within their unit in the state pen.

One inmate said he also wants to get involved with similar fundraisers to go directly back into the local community


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