Inmates raise $8K to help send terminally ill child to Disneyland

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
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DELANO, Calif. (KBAK) - Prisons and puppies are not two things you usually see together, but a program is changing that at a California prison.

Pawsitive Change is a program that allows inmates with good behavior to train dogs and prepare them to be adopted.

“This program teaches empathy and compassion. They are responsible for someone else,” said North Kern State Prison Warden Kelly Santoro.

Pawsitive Change is one of 32 programs that encourage good behavior at the prison.

The group involved is also going beyond just training dogs; they sponsored a food drive that raised money to send a child with a terminal illness to Disneyland.

“We cannot grant wishes without community support. And it is a wonderful opportunity to see this community come together to support this wish,” Ashley Sodergren, with Make-A-Wish, said.

Officials said inmates could spend up to $100 with the money they put towards their food sponsoring the child’s Disneyland trip.

“I think I maxed out and spent my $100 on Chinese food. It was pretty amazing when we found out that it was going to send a child to Disneyland,” said inmate Maurice Skinner.

The inmates raised more than $8,000 to grant a young boy his biggest wish – meeting Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.

“It’s really cool to be able to know that we can make a positive difference in our society even though we are in prison,” said inmate Curtis Krueger.

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