Easter basket program is already underway at Community Services

By JEN CARDINES

STAFF WRITER

It’s already time to sign up for Easter baskets at Southington Community Services (SCS). After nearly two decades, the program continues to serve children from birth through high school graduation.

Each year, SCS assembles hundreds of Easter baskets for local families in need. In the days leading up to the holiday, the facility is packed with a field of colorful baskets.

Each January, Community Services starts gathering candy, toys, stuffed animals, action figures, cars, trucks, coloring books, small sports items, small outdoor toys, gift cards, puzzles, books and other donated goods. These items are assembled into Easter baskets for qualified Southington children.

Filled, wrapped baskets will be labeled with the child’s age and gender with the assistance of ESPN volunteers. Baskets are distributed the week leading up to Easter.

Depending on the age of the recipient, the baskets are generally filled with candy, small toys, books, movie tickets, and stuffed animals. About 300 children in the community receive age appropriate, tailored baskets each year.

SCS assistant Mark Fazzolari said that donations are needed to help fill the baskets. “Individually wrapped candy is what we really need the most,” he said. “However, if people want to donate other items, that would be great.”

Donations can be dropped off at Community Services, 91 Norton St, Plantsville. The office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. SCS is still accepting regular donations, too.

The deadline to apply for baskets is Friday, April 7. Proof of income and proof of residency are required to qualify. To make an appointment, call (860) 628-3761.

“It’s not just this one time of year that we need help,” Fazzolari said. SCS also organizes holiday gifts at Christmas, food drives at Thanksgiving, and many other events throughout the year.

In fact, people can start adopting families in August for the upcoming holiday season. The SCS food pantry always welcomes donations because they assist about 70 families each day throughout the year.

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