Prison inmate Jacyees club donates money to toy drive

Published 7:14 pm Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The City of Danville Fire Department received a surprise gift from an unexpected group of men right before Christmas.

The Jaycees chapter at Northpoint Training Center, made up of about 35 inmates, presented Chief Ken Pflug with a check for $2,500 for the fire department’s annual toy drive fund, Chief Pflug said.

“It came out of nowhere,” and was one of the largest single donations given to the toy drive, Pflug said. “We didn’t solicit any money from them.”

Email newsletter signup

Derek Trumbo, one of the Jaycees inmate members said in a letter that the club collected empty drink cans from the prison’s dorms all year to recycle and saved the money for their charity projects.

Prior to giving money to the toy drive, the club also donated $1,000 from their recycling can project to the Sunrise Children’s Home back in August, Trumbo wrote.

Once a week, club members gathered and crushed the cans. Club advisor Tim Metz collected them once a month and took them to the recycling center. “We save funds until donation time,” Trumbo wrote.

“We collect the cans for donations to various charities. We try to donate three to four times a year.”

Trumbo added, “As a branch of the Jaycees, we believe that in donating our time, effort and the money we raise, we are providing a service, and are rehabilitating ourselves.”

“We are constantly looking for ways to boost morale here at the prison and develop bonds among ourselves that allow us to reach beyond our circumstances,” Trumbo wrote. “In doing donations, we gain confidence to plan, envision and make changes in our lives and others’. We are always looking for worthy charities we can help.”

Trumbo added, “As inmates, we all have children and families on the outside. And though we can’t be in their lives, we try to give back however we can.”

Chief Pflug said the donation was presented too late for the department to use this past Christmas. But “it will be a cushion for next year’s toy drive. You never know what next year will bring. It’s nice to have a little cushion.”