Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 16, 2014

Easter basket workshop Thursday

All families in need invited to fill kids' Easter baskets for free

By Lindsey Ziliak Kokomo Tribune
Kokomo Tribune

---- — Generous individuals and businesses in town donated enough candy, games and books to fill more than 500 Easter baskets at this year’s Tom Carey Easter Basket Workshop.

The workshop starts at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Any families that are strapped for cash this year can show up at Trinity United Methodist Church and build a basket for each of their children.

There will be jelly beans and chocolate rabbits, toys, books and puzzles for the baskets. No need to bring baskets. Those are provided, too.

Don’t be too late, though. Kokomo Urban Outreach Director Jeff Newton said it always draws a big crowd.

“People actually line up around the block,” Newton said.

He said he wants everyone in need to come out and take advantage of the opportunity.

This is the eighth year for the workshop. A former Kokomo Tribune reporter sparked the idea for it.

In 2006, shortly after the Kokomo Urban Outreach was founded, former “Good News” reporter Tom Carey donated several Easter baskets to be passed out to the local community.

Kokomo Urban Outreach had planned to hand them out to kids around Easter. Newton said he told one mother about the idea and she burst into tears.

She asked if she could take a couple of the baskets home before Easter, so she could leave them out for her children to have on Easter morning – like all of the other children. She couldn’t afford to buy her kids a basket and candy that year, she had said.

So now, every year, people from all over the community generously donate Easter items throughout the year and parents or grandparents come in to build Easter baskets for their children, Newton said.

Chrysler donated many of the baskets this year. The Kokomo Housing Authority provided jelly beans. Walgreens donated the chocolate bunnies.

The whole community keeps Carey’s legacy alive through this project. It helps a lot of families, Newton said.

“It’s a big day for us,” he said.

Lindsey Ziliak, Tribune Life & Style editor, can be reached at 765-454-8585, at lindsey.ziliak@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @LindseyZiliak.