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Inmates In A Canadian Prison Pooled Their Money To Buy Gifts For Needy Kids

They donated money from their prison accounts, and drew cards for the kids.

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As Christmas approached, some inmates at the Northeast Nova Scotia Correctional Facility decided "they wanted to participate in some kind of holiday initiative for the community," social worker Hannah Cavicchi-Burrows told BuzzFeed Canada.

They decided to donate money from their prison accounts so that Cavicchi-Burrows and other staff could buy presents and donate them to the local Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Inmates ended up donating $300 of the more than $700 raised at the facility. "The generosity of those who gave was incredible, as some gave what minimal amount they may have had in their accounts," Cavicci-Burrows said. They also helped wrap the gifts.

Hannah Cavicchi-Burrows

She said many inmates know from personal experience what it's like to not have enough presents at Christmas.

"Having folks participate who may have also had challenges growing up made this initiative very special," Cavicci-Burrows said. "It was clear during this holiday drive that many folks just wanted to provide something to children in the community who may, much like them, have a tougher time during the holiday season."

Cavicci-Burrows teaches an art class at the prison, so several inmates drew cards to go along with the gifts. "We have some very talented artists and it was great to see the cards come to life," she said.

Hannah Cavicchi-Burrows

Additional cards were made and sent to a local seniors home, as well as to Safyre Terry, a young girl who asked people to send her Christmas cards after she suffered serious burns and lost her family in a fire.

"At the end of the day no matter what the circumstances of someone's situation, wanting to give back and be a positive contributor to the community is possible," Cavicci-Burrows said.

Craig Silverman is a media editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto.

Contact Craig Silverman at

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