CLEVELAND, Ohio — Just call them Easter bunnies.
A group of Cleveland police dispatchers and volunteers met up Saturday in an effort to make sure local kids have a better Easter.
Dispatcher Jennifer O’Malley came up with the idea to collect baskets filled with treats for kids of residents at the Edna House. The response was so tremendous, she decided to expand the idea to include children at several other Cleveland-area shelters.
“We actually have gotten so many donations,” said O’Malley. “I had people coming in with baskets with all the stuff to fill them. I had one girl bring in 10 baskets with all the goodies in them. So we were able to make closer to 130 baskets for kids who wouldn’t have had an Easter otherwise.”
The Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association donated $500 toward the effort and several other officers and dispatchers and outside agencies like the Edna House Alumni and Cleveland Clinic’s Intercontinental Hotel donated money and basket supplies.
Volunteers, along with help from the real Easter bunny, will deliver the baskets Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s just wonderful,” said O’Malley. “Little kids are going to be able to have a toy or something, and make it an Easter to remember for them.”
“When I called the shelter, I haven’t seen the children yet, but the volunteers and workers there were very appreciative and said the kids don’t get much and don’t have very good memories, and this will give them a memory to take with them,” said O’Malley.
O’Malley said they hope to make the baskets a yearly tradition, perhaps called “Bunny Baskets from Badges.”