Church: Help provide Christmas for prisoners
Published 12:01 am Sunday, November 30, 2014
WOODVILLE — Prison officials and a local church are encouraging others to bring the Christmas spirit to the men behind bars at Wilkinson County Correctional Facility.
Woodville Baptist Church recently raised more than $1,000 for Christmas care packages for Wilkinson County Correctional Facility. The church also donated a collection of personal hygiene items to the Woodville facility.
The fundraiser and collection were made possible through the congregation’s Christmas in August missions project.
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“We are very grateful to the Rev. Rob Muncy and WBC for their hard work and generosity,” Chaplain Roscoe Barnes III said.
“When they heard of this project and our need for support, they immediately stepped up to the plate. We believe this important act of kindness can have a tremendous impact on the lives of our men behind bars. We sincerely hope that other churches will follow their example.”
The Mississippi Department of Corrections allows the facility to provide care packages or personal hygiene items during the Christmas holiday season.
Approved items include one stick of clear deodorant, one bottle of clear shampoo, one 30-count bag of hard candy and one pair of white athletic socks. Each item should be regular size.
“There are over 900 offenders at WCCF,” Muncy said.
“Chaplain Barnes’ goal is to give a Christmas care package to each offender. I encourage the churches, businesses and organizations in our area to join us in this effort.”
Nancy Payne, teacher for Mission Friends ages 2-5 at WBC, loved the idea and ran with it, Muncy said.
The pastor noted other groups at the church — including Girls in Action for girls in first through sixth grades and Royal Ambassadors for boys in first through grades — also helped with the offering.
All of the items were collected from members of the WBC, Muncy said
“Providing a care package to a lonely man behind bars may be a tiny gesture of goodwill, but it can actually do wonders,” said Tira Jackson, deputy warden of programs. “First and foremost, it reminds him that somebody cares. It can also bring a genuine smile to a face that’s more familiar with frowns and tears.”
The men behind bars are criminals, but they are also fathers and sons, Barnes said.
“They’re related to someone as brothers and husbands, cousins and boyfriends,” he said. “In other words, they’re still human. We hope the community, faith groups, businesses and individuals, will help us this holiday season. Together we can make a difference.”
Information on the Christmas care packages for WCCF is available by calling the chaplain at (601)888-3199. Emails may be sent to him at email@example.com or Roscoebarnes3@yahoo.com.
Financial gifts in the form of checks should be made payable to Woodville Baptist Church, and mailed to Wilkinson County Correctional Facility, Chaplain Roscoe Barnes III, P.O. Box 1119, Woodville, MS 39669.