Inmates at the state prison have pooled their resources to make Christmas brighter for needy children in Utah.

Prisoners from the Special Services Dormitory and the Lone Peak Facility each ran a special project for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, according to Nannette Johnson of the prison's public affairs office.Inmates in the Merit II program spent two months collecting funds and presented a check for $1,000 to the Corps. The donations came from minimum- and medium-security inmates, as well as from ticket sales to an activity night held in the dormitory.

The funds were transferred from inmate accounts to a special account, and a check was issued to Toys for Tots.

Christmas for the minimum-security prisoners at the Lone Peak Facility included a shopping trip to select the toys that the group donated to the Marines' program.

Lone Peak Flame-'n-Goes, a firefighting unit; the nursery crew; asbestos workers; culinary workers and the Fallen Angels, a conservation crew, coordinated their project with some help from area community businesses. The groups made all of the arrangements and were responsible for the program.

Inmates collected $1,000, which they took on a shopping spree to ShopKo, which donated an additional $300 in merchandise.

KJQ Radio provided refreshments for the inmates and helped transport the items to a collection site at KTVX.

Some of the groups also participated in a tree-planting project with State Lands and Facilities as part of their Christmas effort.