The holiday season is a time of giving and for the Vigo County Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, creating a new partnership has allowed them to continue to do just that.
“We’re going to be working with the Department of Corrections with their bike build program and we are super excited today because this is a continuation of our Whoville Jubilation on Saturday,” said Glenna Cheesman, Director of Vigo County CASA.
Over 25 children represented by CASA were selected by raffle to receive a bike with the help of Putnamville Correctional Facility’s Shifting Gears program. A program that allows broken bikes to be donated to inmates, who in turn fix them for those in need.
“We’ll fix them up, clean them up, send them back to churches, or organizations that have requested the bikes for the homeless or people who need transportation,” says Cam Lumsdon, Shifting Gears Program Coordinator
Lumsdon says that offenders at Putmanville have worked hard this holiday season to make sure hundreds have a bike under the tree. “As many as we can get for this year has been awesome, almost 200 this year for Christmas so far.”
While those who received the bikes may be thankful. The Warden of the Putnamville Correctional Facility says that inmates are also grateful to be a part of a program that allows them to affect communities in a positive light.
“It gives them a feeling of satisfaction, they appreciate the ability to give back and it’s good for everybody,” says Brian Smith, Putnamville Correctional Facility Warden.
In addition to the bikes from the shifting gears program, CASA also raffled off a TV, tablets, and stuffed animals for children.