Kyle Unit Offenders Stitch Smiles thru Toys for Kids
The gift of a toy will always bring a smile to the face of a child especially when it’s something they’re not expecting. That’s why offenders at the TDCJ Kyle Unit have been participating in Operation Stitch-A-Smile.
Operation Stitch-A-Smile teaches offenders how to make crocheted toys that are donated to the Kyle Police Department and local charities throughout the year. At any given time, there can be up to 60 offenders participating in the program.
“The offenders who participate are giving back to the community,” said Kyle warden Deanna Branham. “They’re paying it forward because they’ll soon be back in society,” she said.
The offenders are allowed to make the crocheted toys in their cells and dayrooms. Since its inception, they have made over a thousand toys that have made their way into children’s hands at hospitals, women’s shelters, crime scenes and charity events.
Warden Branham says the substance abuse counselors have seen a significant decrease in anxiety among offenders participating in the program. “I believe it has something to do with quieting their minds and concentrating on a task with obvious results,” said Warden Branham. “It’s a win-win for everyone!”