“It gives us hope to be able to help the community.”
These were the unexpected words spoken from an unexpected source. Justine Aldana is that unexpected source and as she along with five other female offenders from Folsom Women’s Facility were unloading 10,000 box lunches to be used for disaster relief.
As the women were watching the news, they noticed another offender crying uncontrollably at the possibility that her family was among those evacuated. Justine and the other offenders felt like they had to do something to help. But their sense of helplessness was heightened due to their present incarceration. Luckily, their opportunity came last week when tasked with providing supplies to the Red Cross shelter at Cal Expo in Sacramento.
On Tuesday, the women were excited to help move 313 cases of boxed lunches out of cold storage, take inventory, and load them onto a large semi-truck. Their training and certification in food safety and handling as well as forklift driving made them well qualified for this job.
Helping their neighbors has given these women a keen sense of purpose. The meals will soon be distributed to eager shelter residents and workers.
“It makes me so happy to be able to help others and will continue to do so once I am able to volunteer for the American Red Cross,” said Justine at the end of the day, as her van pulled out of the parking lot and away from the shelter.
The success of the Red Cross mission is dependent on volunteers from all walks of life. Learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Visit redcross.org/volunteer.