Women inmates in Kitchener donate $2K to charities in Waterloo region
One Roof, KW Counselling, Front Door and The Healing of the Seven Generations received $500 each
Inmates at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener are donating $2,000 to four charities in Waterloo region with money that was earned, in part, by painting 700 decorative stones with inspirational messages.
The women were commissioned to paint the stones in 2017 by Community Justice Initiatives, an organization that works with women who live in the prison.
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"What I really love about this project is it's really a collaboration between the women and the community, and it really carries voices in and out of the prison," Julie Thompson, director of community relations, told CBC News.
They were handed out to members of the public at two community events, with instructions to leave the stones in places where they would be found by people needing encouragement.
"It's an opportunity for the women to participate positively in the community and for them to give back to a community that often they've received a lot of care from prior to their incarceration," Thompson said.
The women were paid $2 for every stone they painted, which means they made a total of $1,400 from the 700 rocks Community Justice Initiatives commissioned. They made another $600 selling homemade greeting cards.
Thompson said the women usually donate their greeting card money to two local charities, but because of the money made from selling the painted rocks, they were able to donate money to four charities this year.
One Roof, KW Counselling, Front Door and Seven Generations each received $500 from the women during ceremonies held Tuesday and Thursday.