Men from the Progressive Programming Facility at the California State Prison in Lancaster, along with members of the Paws for Life K9 Rescue Program have donated 480 stuffed animals to the Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley (CCAV).

The plush dogs will be distributed to children who receive therapy at the center or participate in one of CCAV’s family-centered programs.

“If we can help bring a smile to the face of one child, we have made a difference that would be felt forever in the lifetime of that child,” said Jimmie Gilmer, Jr., a member of the Progressive Programming Facility at Lancaster State Prison. “We understand the issue of childhood trauma because most of us have and are still suffering from some of those same types of issues from our very own childhood.”

Members of the Inmate Leadership Legacy Council at the Progressive Programming Facility have been donating to charitable organizations since 2002. They are focused on personal transformation as they do what they can to give back to society and make amends for their past actions.

“We are honored by this gesture of kindness as these men chose to support local children engaged in CCAV’s programs,” said Donna Gaddis, executive director of the children’s center. “We understand the lifelong impact of adverse childhood experiences, which is why we are committed to providing specialized mental health therapy to children who have experienced trauma as well as working to break the generational cycle of trauma.”

Founded in 1988, Children’s Center of the Antelope Valley is a nonprofit organization that offers comprehensive prevention, intervention, and treatment services. For more information, visit ccav.org.

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