Easter is right around the corner, and children of families who celebrate the holiday across town will wake up eager to tackle the Easter baskets that the Easter bunny so generously left behind.
Thanks to Southington Community Services, about 200 children in town will get to partake in the excitement, even if their families are struggling financially.
“On Easter morning, there will be lots of smiles in Southington,” said SCS director Janet Mellon.
Beginning Feb. 1 of each year and continuing until one week before Easter, SCS accepts applications from families for the Easter basket program. Family members must show proof of residency and proof of income.
Each January, SCS starts gathering candy, toys, stuffed animals, action figures, cars, trucks, coloring books, small sports items, gift cards, puzzles, books and other donated goods. Items are assembled into Easter baskets for qualified Southington children from birth up until their senior year of high school.
Filled, wrapped baskets will be labeled with the child’s age and gender with the assistance of volunteers.
“There’s about six volunteers who take on the task of filling and wrapping the baskets,” said Mellon, “and they take such pride in what they do.”
Baskets are then distributed the week prior to Easter.
SCS thanked Rita’s Italian Ice for donating gift cards year after year so children can enjoy one Italian ice on the house. There may be additional gift cards from other local businesses this year.
In order to qualify, call SCS at (860) 628-3761 and make an appointment. The same guidelines used for the Easter baskets are used for the WIC program.
As always, donations are accepted at the SCS facility located at 91 Norton St., Plantsville. They are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
To learn more about SCS programs and services, go to Southington.org. Click “departments” and select “community services.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.