Corrections officers from the Monmouth County Correctional Institution delivered some much needed holiday cheer to the Bayshore community on Wednesday, December 19th. Three officers dressed up as Santa, while nine others acted as helpers as they travelled through the Bayshore area, delivering presents to families in need. “The devastation in the Bayshore after Superstorm Sandy was significant, and, we wanted to make a difference,” said Sgt. Sue Stephenson, of MCCI. “The correctional facility collected more than one hundred toys for the RAINE (Reaching All in Need Everyday) Foundation, with the hope, that the little we have done, will help make a child’s holiday special.”
The RAINE Foundation, based in Hazlet, provides food, clothing and assistance to families in crises. Because of the overwhelming need for assistance in the Bayshore area, the foundation set up shop at the former Children’s Wearhouse in Hazlet, where a tremendous holiday toy drive was held. As a result, more than 25,000 gifts were delivered.
Corrections officers, along with members of the Hazlet and Union Beach police and fire departments, worked well into the night ensuring every child had a gift to unwrap. “I’m grateful the correctional division participated in such a worthy cause,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “Any chance to spread holiday cheer to children from areas that were devastated by the storm gives them hope for a brighter tomorrow.”
Participants from MCCI included: Sgt. Sue Stephenson, Sgt. Jason McCauley, Sgt. Richard Matlock, C/O Thomas Richuitti, C/O Tony Silva, C/O Kimberly Martin, C/O John Quick, C/O Anthony Valasa, C/O William Smentkowski, C/O Diana Ramirez, C/O Brian Johnson & C/O Robert Dickens