Inmates at ACRJ receive Hope Packs for the holidays

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 3:13 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - More than 500 Hope Packs filled with different treats are brightening up the holidays for officers and inmates at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

The Hope Packs are filled with crossword puzzles, food, and quotes and testimonies from inmates.

“It actually is an anticipated event, last year was our first year distributing Hope Packs, and we got positive feedback from officers and inmates,” ACRJ Volunteer Chaplain Angela Holstege said.

Richard Van Arsdale is also a chaplain at the jail, and he brought the idea of Hope Packs to Charlottesville from Chicago.

“Even if just for the day, it changes the environment, you know, they have certain things that they can eat today that they wouldn’t normally eat. They have a new book with games in it and the true meaning of Christmas,” Van Arsdale said.

Holstege says these Hope Packs help remind inmates, staff, and officers that they are not forgotten.

“We get to tell them that there’s people in our community that are remembering and thinking of you in the holiday season, that you are not forgotten, that we see you and we care about you,” Holstege said.

Now, the Hope Packs are offering up a little holiday peace and cheer in not just Charlottesville, but around the world. Holstege says that 50,000 Hope Packs are being given out to officers and inmates in 20 countries.

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