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Department of Correction's Good Samaritan Network Reaches Out To Help Tennesseans

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 | 05:00am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC) is offering assistance to Tennesseans in need. Through the department's Good Samaritan Network, supplies of items from toothpaste to diapers are available to those in serious need.

The items were collected after TDOC employees organized a relief committee to help correctional employees in Louisiana who were affected by Hurricane Katrina. Overwhelming response to the call for help led to a tractor-trailer full of supplies being carried to the region. As a result, TDOC now has a surplus of items currently being stored at the old Tennessee State Prison in Nashville. Now, on the one-year anniversary of Katrina, TDOC wants to continue giving by helping people closer to home.

"I know there are children that need the items that we have there," said Volunteer Services Director Richard Dixon. "We want to make sure the items we have like baby food and formula with expiration dates get to people in need so that none of the generosity demonstrated in the wake of Katrina is wasted. We still need people to give as well."

Some excess supplies without expiration dates will also be held in reserve to be used in the event of a natural disaster or other future need in Tennessee. The Good Samaritan Network, which also helps inmates upon their release and TDOC employees who have experienced hardships, accepts donations and volunteers on an ongoing basis.

"Governor Bredesen has asked departments across state government to assess their preparedness for dealing with crisis situations like natural disasters," said Dixon. "We believe that preparedness mindset can even extend to projects like the Good Samaritan Network and play an important role in helping Tennesseans weather whatever may come in the future."

Contact Richard Dixon at (615) 741-1000 ext. 8161 to be screened for assistance. To learn more about the Good Samaritan Network, visit our website at www.tn.gov/correction/inmateprograms/goodsamaritan.html.

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