Lindenhurst preschoolers help brighten Easter morning for children in hospitals

Helping out the community is an important goal at Lindenhurst Early Childhood Center.

And to that end, preschool children this week made Easter baskets to be given to children less fortunate and to those children sick in area hospitals so that they will wake up Easter morning to a cheerful basket.

More than 70 children participated in the 13th annual Spring Easter Baskets creation providing 400 baskets to local charities and hospitals, as well as hospitals in Chicago.

"They are very happy. We are going to make all these Easter baskets with stuffed animals and chocolate goodies," said preschool teacher Julie Harter. "They know how this affects the community. They know that they can make a huge difference. It gives them pride in their accomplishment."

The baskets were donated by the 100% Foundation, plastic bags came from Uline, food and candy from Target and the parents of Lindenhurst Early Childhood Center, and stuffed animals from Jim and Helen Harney.

"We filled Easter baskets with chips and toys," said 4-year-old Landon Bunkelman of Lake Villa after stuffing a basket with toys, cookies, candy and a teddy bear. "I share them with my friends and give them to kids at hospitals because they're hurt."

The baskets were delivered through April 15 to more than 20 locations that included the DCFS Foster Care Division, Kid's Hope United, Safe Place, Allendale, Lake County Housing Authority, Lutheran General Hospital, Vista Medical Center, and the Lake Villa/PLAN/Open Arms Mission Food Pantries as well as, in Chicago, the John Stroger Hospital of Cook County and the Ruth Rothstein CORE Center, so that children woke up Easter morning with a beautiful basket.

  Preschool children pick out toys to put in Easter baskets at the Lindenhurst Early Childhood Center. More than 400 baskets were made to be given to local charities and hospitals as well as Chicago hospitals. Gilbert R. Boucher II/
  Preschooler Kaleb Hernandez, 4, of Lindenhurst fills an Easter basket at the Lindenhurst Early Childhood Center. Gilbert R. Boucher II/
  Lindenhurst Early Childhood Center preschooler Maria Miguez-Gaytan, 4, of Lindenhurst fills an Easter basket. Gilbert R. Boucher II/
  Preschool children make Easter baskets Wednesday at the Lindenhurst Early Childhood Center. More than 70 children took part in the 13th annual event. Gilbert R. Boucher II/