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Family Winter Fest in Pierce County

December 23, 2016

By Rachel Friederich

DOC Communications

Image of a boy hanging a blue paper snowflake on a Christmas tree at the Tacoma Resource and Opportunity Center

A boy hangs an ornament on a Christmas tree at the Tacoma Resource and Opportunity Center during the 2016 Winter Fest event. (Photo Courtesy of Shalonda Nelson, DOC) See photo gallery...

TACOMA – Thirty-six children whose families have been impacted by the criminal justice system celebrated holidays at the second annual “Winter Fest” hosted by the Pierce County staff of the Department of Corrections, (DOC) Community Corrections Division.

Children who participated have had a parent or relative on community supervision. The event was held at the Tacoma Resource and Opportunity Center. Children decorated cookies, made holiday ornaments and got their faces painted. Staff gave out toys, baby blankets, stuffed animals, and goodie bags.

“The purpose of Winter Fest is to help those families with members on supervision faced with the challenges of reintegrating back into community,” said Janet Francis, a community corrections supervisor in Tacoma, who helped organize the event. “We support building and strengthening family bonds through prosocial activities in a safe and fun environment. Through these types of programs we show that DOC cares.”

One of the most popular activities with the kids was getting their photo taken with Santa.

“When she saw Santa sitting across the room, she screamed his name and went on a dead run straight to him with a big hug. It doesn’t get better than that.”