Building Toys and Memories - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

NWFRC Inmates Build Toys and Memories

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Whether you want to play house, play checkers, or just play around...there's a hand-made toy for that.

"You'd be amazed what you can do with wood," says Correctional Officer Mark Whitaker at Northwest Florida Reception Center.

"Little rocking horeses we built," says Whitaker. "Tanks, planes, helicopters, jewelry boxes." Whitaker lists off the various toys they built.

One of the newest toys...a wooden checkerboard with wooden checker pieces. DWayne Smith, an inmate at NWFRC came up with the idea to build it himself. 

For Smith, making these toys hits home. "I'm glad the needy kids are getting somsething out of it," says Smith. "I have two kids at home...I miss them right now."

"To see the kids faces when they come up here and see these presents and gifts...its unimagineable," says Whitaker.

Whitaker overlooks these inmates at the Northwest Florida Reception Center and like Santa Claus,  inmates spend all year building these toys...

"Tomorrow we're starting on next year," says Whitaker. "I mean the program does not stop."

At least 80 children will go home a toy or two richer Friday night and build upon a memory that somebody started building for them.