Oklahoma DOC director extends thanks for donations in wake of tornado
In the weeks after a tornado destroyed much of Moore, Okla., and the surrounding area, the Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) stepped up to help with donations to its neighboring corrections department.
Thousands of dollars worth of Restorative Justice items were given to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections (ODOC) to disburse to those affected by the devastation. To thank the DOC for its generosity, ODOC Director Justin Jones and a group of his staff traveled to Joplin to present DOC Director George Lombardi with an Award of Appreciation and letter of thanks.
On Aug. 2, Jones presented the award to Lombardi at Probation and Parole’s District 9 Office in Joplin. The District 9 Office had its own presentation and handed over seven checks of $150 each for Jones to give to seven members of his staff who lost their homes in the disaster.
District 9 had partnered with Backyard Burgers to hold a fundraiser at the district office on May 31 and raised the money through food and T-shirt sales from an area all too familiar with loss from a tornado.
In his letter to Lombardi, Jones stated, "As the horrible weather events of May 2013 ravaged the State of Oklahoma and stirred painful memories of the devastation experienced by Joplin just two years earlier, the Missouri Department of Corrections, their staff, and their offenders chose to leap into action and focus their emotions and efforts on their fellow corrections colleagues in need in Oklahoma. I cannot express how much this means to the corrections family in Oklahoma. The many facilities/units within your department have demonstrated, through their tremendous compassion and outpouring of support, a willingness to go the extra mile to lessen the burden for others."
Restorative Justice items handcrafted by offenders and donated to Oklahoma included toys, school supplies, blankets, pillows, quilts, hats, jewelry, cool ties for recovery workers and stress pillows.
"I am so grateful to all our staff for showing the compassion it took to readily step up and help those in need," said Lombardi. "I want to thank all who participated, including the offenders, who gave so willingly and extensively."
In the first photo, ODOC Director Justin Jones and ODOC Chief of Administrative Services Tina Hicks present DOC Director George Lombardi with an Award of Appreciation. In the second photo, Jones and Lombardi hold up a "We Love Moore, OK" T-shirt that Kimberly Traver, District 9 PPOI, presented to Jones.