Prisoners take pride in their toys
For the third year in a row inmates at the Goose Creek Correctional Center are helping Santa by crafting homemade toys.
It's a year-round activity that wraps up Wednesday when volunteers from the Mat-Su Special Santa Program come to collect the toys.
The Alaska Department of Corrections has worked with the non-profit for more than 20 years.
Goose Creek is the most recent institution to take on the toy making role. Inmates volunteer to be part of the program and many make elaborate creations from donated wood like rocking horses and model planes.
Inmate James Lee helped organize the program at Goose Creek. He said the focus is on handcrafted toys that will last.
"We try to stay away from cookie-cutter toys. We try to do heirloom style stuff, something that might be handed down later on," said Lee. "It might be the only present a child gets, so we make sure, if they're really going to get it from us, it's quality."
The Mat-Su Special Santa Program will distribute the toys to families that register for some extra help at Christmas time. Families are allowed to go "shopping" and chose the toys from their children's wish list. In addition to the inmate's handcrafted items, the charity is always looking for donations of toys, money and clothing from the community.
Copyright 2017 KTVA. All rights reserved.