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Making Easter smiles for children

St. Albert Kinsmen and Kinettes pack 515 bags with treats and activities
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Julie DeMott, a long-time St. Albert Kinette, is one of a dozen volunteer Kinettes and Kinsmen that volunteered to fill 515 goodie bags on Saturday, March 20, for the inaugural Easter Basket Campaign.

Chocolate Easter eggs, fruit-flavoured gummies, coloured sidewalk chalk, bubble-blowing solution and a four-page colouring book will be part of an Easter basket for 515 children this year. 

With less than two weeks away from Easter, about a dozen Kinsmen and Kinettes joined forces last Saturday to launch their inaugural Easter Basket Campaign. 

Restricted by Alberta Health Services pandemic guidelines, both service groups have either cancelled or tailored many community spirit activities. 

The Easter Basket Campaign was inspired by the Kinettes 2020 Reverse Trick or Treat Halloween Extravaganza. At the time, families were searching for a safe way to trick or treat. Kinettes offered to fill goodie bags and deliver them to any family in the community that signed up. Bags were dispatched on Oct. 31 and the gesture was a hit. 

The Easter treat bags received a major push through Kinette efforts. One Kinette took time to make a colouring book, while two others spent nine hours scouting businesses for edible goodies and activity starters. 

Tracy Nadiger, the Kinettes' service director, hopes the Easter goodies will be received with enthusiasm. 

“I would like children to be excited and experience something unexpected, and know someone cares about them,” she said.  

The brightly decorated bags are delivered to three groups: St. Albert Food Bank, Morinville Food Bank and another agency that did not wish to be identified. The bags remain at the agencies for two weeks as per COVID protocols before deliveries to families are made. 

“We’re just trying to spread good cheer. It’s a little tougher for us to go out in the community because of COVID, but this is a way to spread the cheer,” said Martin Frigon, Kinsmen services director.  

Both Kin volunteers are equally excited about the second part of the campaign – an Egg-Tastic Egg Decorating Contest. The free-to-enter contest opened Monday, March 15 and runs until Saturday, March 27, at 8 p.m. It is open to children in three age categories: zero to six years, seven to nine and 10 to 13 years. 

Simply decorate an egg and email a clear photo to [email protected]. A panel of two Kinsmen and two Kinettes will judge the photos. Two huge and reportedly “awesome” Easter baskets will be awarded to first and second place winners in each age group. 

Kinsmen hope to post photos on their website as soon as they are received. See full contest rules at stalbertkin.ca.