Inmates send their kids gifts with a message

December 07, 2013

Cape Cod Times

Special messages will be going out to a group of children from their mothers who can't be with them for the holidays.

Today, about a half-dozen female inmates at Barnstable County Correctional Facility gathered in the library to record 10-second recordings to be placed into teddy bears and delivered to their children around Dec. 23.

They were joined by their mentors from the nonprofit Bridge to Hope program who supplied 16 bears and oversaw the project.

"I think it's an awesome gift," said Shaylyn Profitt-Johnson, who has a son, 5, and a daughter, 3. This will be her first Christmas in jail.

Each bear costs $20 and is funded through donations, said Bridge to Hope director Linda Bradstreet. Members of her church, Grace Church of East Dennis, helped pay for them.

This is the first year that Bridge to Hope, which sponsors the one-on-one inmate mentoring program, has offered the bears. The idea came from the group's intern, Jessica Kaye, a Wheelock College student working on her master's degree in social work. Part of her internship, she said, is to identify the needs of inmates' children.

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