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Md. prisoners help orphans in Haiti

January 02, 2008|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN ? Inmates at three prisons south of Hagerstown were so moved by footage of Haitian orphans that they sent money out of their personal accounts to a hospital recently built to help the children, according to Chaplain Bob Lashinsky.

Lashinsky, who ministers to about 500 Catholic inmates at Maryland Correctional Institution, Roxbury Correctional Institution and Maryland Correctional Training Center on Roxbury Road, said he told the inmates about Father Rick Frechette, a Baltimore native who visited Haiti several years ago.

Lashinsky said that Frechette, a Catholic priest, realized the orphans with whom he worked in Haiti were badly in need of health care, so he returned to the United States, earned his medical degree and returned to Haiti to build a hospital.

Lashinsky told the inmates about Freshette's endeavor and suggested they reach out to the children.

"They were all excited about it, no question," Lashinsky said.

The inmates donated more than $500 from their personal accounts, and the money was sent directly to Freshette.

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Inmates earn wages, usually only a few cents a day, working in prison kitchens or shops run by Maryland Correctional Enterprises, the prison industry arm of the state Division of Correction.

Lashinsky said he would like to see the outreach happen several times a year.

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