Children shout “THANK YOU!”, as the inmates respond, “You’re welcome, guys!”
1,100 pumpkins and two acres of farm. Inmates at the Mike Durfee State Prison in Yankton, SD planted pumpkin seeds back in May and now they’re giving their harvested pumpkins back to the community.
Tuesday was just one day of deliveries these inmates have been making to elementary schools.
Smiles from ear to ear and shouts of gratitude as third graders picked their pumpkins. But, the inmates were just as excited.
“To see the excitement on their face, and to know that it’s going to make their day… to know that I was part of something that made their day, it’s a blessing” says Ryan Klave, inmate at the Mike Durfee State Prison in Yankton, SD.
For one inmate, this delivery hits close to home. With two children of his own, he says the glow on these students’ faces is unexplainable.
“Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces, it was great. Just seeing how happy they are when we hand them the pumpkins… they’re just glowing. There are really no words for it, it feels like everything in the world” says Tony Schmidt, inmate at the Mike Durfee State Prison in Yankton, SD.
And it’s not just Halloween pumpkins. These inmates grow a variety of fruits and vegetables to donate to area non profits that give to the needy. They say no matter where they are and what their past entails, it’s important to contribute to the community.
“People can realize that we are still trying to function with society, and give back to it, despite all that we’ve taken from it in the past” says Tony Schmidt.
Today the inmates stopped at four schools and they have more on their list for the next few days. In other words, many “jack o’ lanterns” should be glowing very soon!