Written and Submitted By: Lion Jane Jarrow
In early March, the Tri-Village Lions Club was preparing to do a fundraiser in support of CureJM (www.curejm.org ), following on the heels of a successful “Visit to Santa’s Workshop” in December (www.tinyurl.com/SantasWorkshop-2016 ). We planned to invite children in the community to bring us their favorite stuffed animals for an overnight visit to the Easter Bunny. But as long as we were at it, why not bring the fun home to some children who might not otherwise be celebrating all the Spring rituals (Easter egg hunts on the top of the list!)? So we decided to share OUR Easter festivities with the children at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
We couldn’t think of a way to safely collect (and then return) stuffed animals from the children, so we decided that they should get NEW stuffed animals from us. Of course, if you are going to celebrate Easter, you should have an Easter basket. And, of course, that Easter Basket should have Easter eggs. But that was going to mean we needed a LOT of decorated Easter eggs.
We reached out to the Tri-Village community to help us make Easter a little more fun for the kids at RMH-C and NCH. We invited folks to stop by for just a few minutes to the MCL Cafeteria at Kingsdale (the home base for the Tri-Village Lions) and decorate an Easter egg for a sick child. There was a terrific response from our community, with more than 100 people turning out over the course of an afternoon to put together an Easter egg (actually, most folks were having so much fun they stayed for two or three!). Added to that, students from Jones Middle School in Upper Arlington and Stevenson Elementary School in Grandview asked if there was something specific they could do to be involved in the project, since they were already focused on doing things to support the children at RMH-C. We assigned them specific roles in preparing the Easter baskets and considered Phase One of our project a complete success.
Phase Two found us collecting stuffed animals from community children (in exchange for a $10 donation to CureJM) and taking them overnight to see the Easter Bunny. While we were at it, we asked the Bunny to pose for some pictures with the animals that would go with our gift baskets, too. He was more than happy to oblige, and we were able to put together a little souvenir “photo album” of the trip to hand out along with the baskets.
Finally, we delivered Easter baskets, photo albums, stuffed animals, and activity books to 40 children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and another 20 at the Ronald McDonald House in the week before Easter. We thank the Tri-Village Community for supporting the Tri-Village Lions Club as we, hopefully, brought some big smiles to some little faces. You can watch the little video we put together about all this at: