Our Story

Following the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, NAAWS and ACA led a fundraising effort to aid the victims of that terrible storm. The Correction Peace Officers Foundation was right there with many other organizations from across the country including the Association for Women Executives in Corrections. Over $180,000 was raised from around the country with the Michigan Department of Corrections leading the way. Even inmate groups recognized the enormity of this cause and contributed their funds to assist the people of Louisiana. The money raised was donated to a Louisiana Department of Corrections employee committee, formed by then Director Richard Stalder, to assist those who lost so much. About a year later it was obvious that many in the communities ravaged by Katrina were still suffering. Some NAAWS members asked what else we could do to help. It was quickly decided that we wanted to help the children impacted by the storm by rebuilding their parks and playgrounds. A committee to accomplish this mission was formed and Make-A-Smile was born.

An abandoned city park was identified in the 9th Ward of New Orleans and NAAWS members responded by raising money and volunteering to help. When we learned that two more parks, one in Moss Point, Mississippi and one in Bogalusa, Louisiana also were in dire need of help, then NAAWS President Mark Saunders said let’s restore all three and we did. In the years that followed, Make-A-Smile subsequently helped communities in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Nashville, Tennessee, after both cities also suffered devastating floods.

What's Coming Up

In the first week of October of this year Make-A-Smile is going to Lumberton, North Carolina, a small community devastated by terrible flooding last year. Make-A-Smile is planning to restore two small parks in poor neighborhoods where funding is not available from FEMA or local governments. We need your assistance to be successful. Please help those in need by donating and/or volunteering to work. Let’s help return smiles to the faces of the children of Lumberton and their families by restoring their parks.

Make-A-Smile is a 501c3 charity and, as such, your donations are tax deductible. Donations may be mailed to the following address:
Make-A-Smile, PO Box 503, Collingswood, New Jersey 08108

For additional information, to volunteer or to make an online donation, please visit our organization’s website: make-a-smile.org

Thank you for being a part of a corrections family that continues to care about and support our communities in need.