Volunteers are Crucial to Helping Incarcerated Individuals…and Imperial Staff say Thank you
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The Imperial Regional Detention Facility in Calexico, CA recently held an appreciation dinner for the many people who volunteer at the facility.
“We have 65 volunteers here at the facility,” says facility Chaplain Richard Barnes. “The services range from leading Jumu’ah prayers on Friday with the Muslims and prayers in the morning on Wednesday with the Sikhs to doing small Bible studies in individual multi-purpose rooms in the dorms. We also have those who are willing to come in simply to sit with the detainees and provide either pastoral care or some sort of inspiration, depending on what the needs of the detainees are.”
Awards were presented at the dinner, acknowledging the volunteers’ selfless service to the detainees.
Volunteer Ahmad Fejleh spoke of how he feels about volunteering. “I appreciate the opportunity that I can come in and give service to people who need it, who are behind four walls. They look forward every time I come in, every week.”
Volunteer Maria Noriega says of her service to the female detainees that the women are cordial and help her to feel comforted which allows her to give better services. She expresses that setting aside some personal time to volunteer at the facility has changed her life.
Aaron Zepeda, also a volunteer, thanks the facility, including the warden, the staff, and every officer. He says they’re very attentive and friendly and quick to facilitate whatever need they have as volunteers to accomplish the work they do.