[PHOTO CREDITS: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 04/05/20]
Inmates at the Lake County Jail are doing their part to help in the battle against the global pandemic COVID-19.
Partnering with non-profit Lake Support and Emergency Recovery Inc. — better known as LASER — the Lake County Sheriff’s Office inmate sewing program is making face masks to provide to area healthcare workers, said LCSO Lt. John Herrell in a press release.
With a nationwide shortage of face masks in the fight against COVID-19, “The initial goal for the inmates is to quickly produce 1,000 masks and then continue making them around the clock as the need exists,” Herrell said. Their latest goal is 10,000 masks, he noted.
“We’re glad we had this program already in place so that we can help those on the front lines get these masks as quickly as possible. It’s a dire need right now and we’re doing all we can to help,’ said LCSO Sheriff Peyton Grinnell.
Masks must be made out of a breathable cotton blend and LASER has purchased some of the materials, while others have been donated by local craft stores.
The inmate sewing program was launched in 2008 to teach female inmates a skill that could be used to find gainful employment, Herrell explained in the press release. “Initially, the program was designed to make inmate uniforms, embroider officer uniforms, and repair torn uniforms, thus saving taxpayer dollars.”
LCSO is also partnering with LASER for a local food drive to benefit Lake County residents. Donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted in three locations around the county. Donations may be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily at the following locations:
Lake County Jail, 551 West Main Street, Tavares.
First Baptist Church of Umatilla, 550 Hatfiled Drive, Umatilla.
Real Life Church of God, 1501 Steve’s Road, Clermont.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]