GREENFIELD — A group of local women hopes to make Easter a little brighter for struggling Hancock County families.
Planning and organizing outreach programs to help local families is a tradition for the Greenfield Christian Women’s Club.
And for several years, the group has donated filled Easter baskets to Hancock Hope House and the Hancock County Food Pantry.
This year, the women, who belong to Stonecroft Ministries, a nationwide network of Christian volunteers, assembled 56 baskets to donate this week.
“We just basically do ministries to show our love to Christ,” said projects coordinator Karen Horton. “We’ve always sponsored the food pantry or Hope House.”
The baskets are filled with Easter goodies including stuffed animals, colorful eggs filled with candy, coloring books and crayons. They will be distributed to families with children between the ages of 2 and 10.
“You name it; we’ve got it,” said club chairwoman Caryl Kelleher.
The group, which has about 50 local members, collected the items for the Easter baskets at recent monthly luncheons and purchased other items that were needed.
The members’ willingness to help always has been wonderful, Horton said.
They spent a few hours one weekend assembling the baskets, laying colorful grass inside and carefully stuffing plastic Easter eggs with candy.
Group members don’t typically get to see children receive the baskets, but they love the effort all the same, Horton said.
“I think it’s important because most children that come here, their families might not be able to financially provide for them,” she said.
An Easter basket filled with candy and toys might be an extra expense families utilizing the food pantry can’t afford.
“It just makes it a little brighter for them,” Kelleher added.
The baskets make trips to the food pantry happier for families, said pantry volunteer Nancy Kent. And the food pantry is happy to accept the donations.
“We always look forward to anything that adds to what we give our families,” she said. “This is just something extra for the little ones.”
The women’s club is one of several organizations that put together Easter baskets and extra goodies for the food pantry. Churches and various service organizations also donate special bags throughout the year.
“The churches who do this, they always put such nice things inside,” Kent said. “We’re really grateful for it.”
The food pantry will hand the baskets out this week, she said. From there, families can decide when they’ll give the gifts to their children.
The baskets are a sweet gesture for children who otherwise might not get anything from the Easter bunny, Kent said.
“When I ask people to do these things, I ask them to think about the child and pray for the child,” she said.
Food can be donated Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and by appointment.
Monday’s hours are 8 to 10 a.m.; Tuesday’s are 8 to 9 a.m. and Wednesday’s are 8 to 9:30 a.m.
To schedule an appointment, call 317-468-0273.
Hancock County Food Pantry distributes food Monday through Thursday.
On Monday, food distribution hours are 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, hours are 9 to 10:30 a.m. and 6 to 7 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday’s food distribution hours are 7 to 8 p.m.
The pantry is located at 741 1/2 South State St. in Greenfield.
For more information, call 317-468-0273.