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Backpack to School

September 4, 2019

By Tim Kelly

DOC Communications

(Tim Kelly, DOC Communications)

LITTLEROCK – With the start of school right around the corner, Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Littlerock, hosted a back to school event for the children of incarcerated individuals. Over 100 kids came to the facility to see their father and prepare for the school year by receiving a backpack full of supplies and hygiene products. Shane Sweetman and his children look forward to these events.

“Our children love this. It’s a different atmosphere than in a visiting room where we are stuck at a table. When we do these events we can run bases with our kids, we can play in the grass with our kids, and we can intermingle with them more like we are not locked up. These events, they’re the best,” Sweetman said.

Books were donated by the South Sound Reading Foundation. Destiny Riders of Christian Motorcycle Foundation and the Division of Child Support from Department of Health and Human Services donated backpacks and supplies. Sea Mar Community Health provided dental care items and the Hand’s on Children’s Museum brought activities for the families to enjoy. Community Partnership Program Coordinator Seanne Schlund, organized the event and was excited to see how the families responded.

“The reactions are the best part, they are so thankful and they are so sure to tell me how they appreciate the hard work and everything that we provide. It’s nice to help even if it’s in the littlest ways,” said Schlund.

Events like this align with the agencies vision of working together for safe communities and the mission to improve public safety. Sweetman is very happy to participate and he understands how big of an impact it can have on his children.

“We still want to be in this part of their life, getting them ready for school. Knowing that, even though it’s not much, we are still able to provide them with something and it just gives them that better sense of security that their parents still love them and look out for them the best that we can. These events are amazing,” said Sweetman.