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Donations sought for inmate Christmas toy-making program

December 13, 2011 |  9:23 am

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department is seeking donations of wood and fabric that inmates can use to make handcrafted toys for needy children for Christmas.

The tradition of making Christmas toys is a tradition that dates back 50 years.

Every year during the holidays, some county inmates at Pitchess Detention Center and South Facility spend hours carving out wooden toys from blocks of wood and constructing cloth dolls from plain fabric.

This year, they plan to make 150 wooden cars, trucks and helicopters, as well as 1,400 cloth dolls.

Sheriff Lee Baca was expected to visit the Belvedere Early Education Center in East Los Angeles on Tuesday morning to present some of the handmade toys and dolls to children.

"The labors of the instructional staff and jail inmates brighten the lives of children within our communities by providing a gift that may be the only one the child receives at Christmastime," he said in a statement.

Sheriff's officials are asking residents and merchants to donate raw materials. People interested in donating doll materials should call Gloria Welsh at (323) 568-4500, and anyone with wooden toy materials should contact Sgt. Gerri McCorkle at (661) 295-8805.

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--Angel Jennings

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