The Upper Sandusky Rotary Club’s Eggs for Easter project has been providing new Easter clothing for local children for more than 10 years.
“It’s a local project that Rotary picked up on as a spin-off of the Angel Tree idea,” Rotary President Jenny Romich said.
The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree project includes paper angels with information about the kids — all except their names. The angels are placed on a tree, where they are taken by donors who shop for the gifts and return them to be given to parents in time for Christmas.
The Eggs for Easter project puts information inside plastic Easter eggs, which are placed in baskets at four Upper Sandusky banks. Donors pick eggs from the baskets, shop for the items and return them to the bank.
“It’s all supported by the community and it’s all anonymous,” project Chairman Phil Beidelschies said “There are no names given out. Each child is assigned a number and I put that number on a slip of paper along with whether it’s a boy or girl, their age and their size and put the paper in the egg.”
Many of the donors add Easter goodies or other fun items along with the clothes.
“Some of the bags are all dolled up really nice,” Beidelschies said. “It’s however the donor wants to do it.”
People also donate money for the project. Wyandot County Recorder Sandy Micheli and her assistant Karen Kline volunteer to shop for any kids whose eggs are not picked from the basket so no one is left out.
“(Micheli and Kline) are non-Rotarians and they just volunteer to help out,” Beidelschies said. “They spend their own time and their own gas to go out and purchase gifts. Anybody who donates money, it goes to the purchase of gifts for the kids.”
The items are distributed each year on Good Friday at the Upper Sandusky Community Library. This year, 55 Upper Sandusky area boys and girls were dressed in new Easter frocks purchased by people they will never meet.
“It really helps for the children whose families don’t have money,” said an Upper Sandusky woman, who was picking up items for her grandchild. “People just don’t have the money go out there and buy anything for their children.”
One mother said the project was the only way she could provide new Easter clothes for her three daughters.
“With me being the only one in my family working, I was only able to buy eggs for the kids to color,” she said. “That was all I was able to afford, so this program really helps.”
By CHANDA NEELY