View Full Version : Inmates Good Works (Article)

07-20-2004, 02:28 PM
State prison inmates raise nearly $1,000 for family of slain boy


Associated Press

Moved by the story of his death, inmates at Oregon's state prison have raised nearly $1,000 for the family of a slain 9-year-old boy.

Almost 150 men at the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem gave donations to the family of Topaz Luna, who was killed last month after being struck by a Salem Public Works truck.

"It's a heart-wrenching story," said Pepe Rivas, 34, president of La Raza Unida, the Latino club that initiated the fund-raiser. The name means "The People United."

Last week, Rivas and the club's 60 or so members deposited $982 in the family's name at a U.S. Bank branch in Salem. They also sent a letter of condolence to the Luna family.

Approximately 149 of the prison's 895 inmates gave money, with individual donations ranging from $2 to $10 the limit.

"It's the first time we felt it was something we knew would be a benefit," said Rivas, who is serving a life sentence for a murder committed when he was 17.

According to prison spokesman Levi Bunnell, men at the state prison earn $30 to $70 per month and usually use the money to buy toiletries and other necessities.

"In here, when people are willing to give up their money, that's meaningful," Bunnell told The Statesman-Journal in Salem.

Earlier this year, La Raza Unida put together 95 Easter baskets to give to needy children who visited the minimum-security prison. Inmates donated $300 for that project.

"In the past, we've leached off the public," Rivas said. "Now, we want to give something back."

07-20-2004, 02:47 PM
That is awesome!! **wipes tear**

Thank you for posting this!!


07-20-2004, 06:06 PM
I was just about to post that.. haha..

I think that is a wonderful article!!!

07-21-2004, 12:03 AM
I read the article tonight in our local paper - the picture of Rivas inside the walls of OSCI emphasized his humanity. I am glad this selfless act of kindness was shared with the public. :)