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Female Inmates Spend Holiday Season Knitting for Others

Charities and organizations received over 500 scarves and hats from the female inmates at the San Mateo County's Women's Transitional Facility.

The spirit of the season has spread to the County’s Women’s Transitional Facility through an unlikely medium: yarn. The female inmates donated their over 500 hand-knitted scarves and hats to St. Francis Center, St. Vincent De Paul, Coastal charities and others throughout the County.

Correctional Officer Gillispie started the program over two years ago, and women have made over 1,500 hats and scarves for the community since then.

One former inmate served her time at the Women’s Transitional Facility, returned to civilian life, then in turn taught her daughter to knit. The two of them now donate what they make back to the knitting program to help others.

"It makes me feel good in my current situation, I am giving back," said one inmate.

"It feels good to see all of the hats, knowing that we accomplished something positive and it will help the community members in need," another female inmate said.  

A thank you note from Sister Christina Heltsley of the Saint Francis Center in Redwood City read, “I just… want to thank you for the really warm hats that you made. We have some very proud and warm kids who are wearing them proudly… Thank you for caring about others and reaching out to make a difference. Just wanted you to know how grateful we are!”

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