Follow a prisoner's example: Give this holiday season

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The falling mercury here in central Indana serves as a real reminder: The holidays are just around the corner.

First there's Halloween in all of its teeth-rotting horror, then comes the gluttony of Thanksgiving, followed quickly by the abundant presents and food of Christmas and the overindulgence that is New Year's Eve.

A season of joy? Perhaps. A season reverence? At times. A season of excess? Absolutely.

A news release from the Putnamville Correctional Facility arrived at the Banner Graphic office on Tuesday and it came as a early reminder of what the holidays are all about.

It seems that an offender at PCF donated a blanket to the Sons of the American Legion (SAL) at Post 58 in Greencastle. Correctional Officer Tony Sparks, who also serves as the local SAL commander, accepted the donation.

The quilt will now be raffled off through the SAL post, with proceeds going toward the purchase of winter coats, socks and warm clothing for the residents of the Indiana Veterans Home in West Lafayette.

To purchase raffle tickets, contact Post 58 at 653-8939 or stop by the Legion at 1401 Indianapolis Rd.

It's funny the places we find inspiration for doing the right thing. We all have heroes and role models -- parents, teachers and clergy all spring immediately to mind as people whose behavior we might emulate.

Convicted felons don't tend to make that list. Putnamville is a medium security facility, which means the offenders didn't get there by jaywalking.

But from that unlikely place, we got a reminder on Tuesday that anyone in any living situation can do the right thing. This man probably isn't a role model in any sense of the word, but he set a good example with this action.

So this holiday season, when making those lists for Santa Claus and holiday feasts, remember the example of a prisoner at Putnamville.

Give to veterans. Give to your local food pantry. Give to your church. Give to kids in need.

Just give.