A local senior living community has organized a drive to help give Easter baskets to area children who may not receive one this year.
Cambridge Corry is inviting members of the community to join them in donating Easter baskets for kids in need this Easter. The baskets will be donated to Safe Journey's shelter.
Safe Journey, which is headquartered in Union City, provides support, counseling and services to victims of domestic violence and their children. All services are provided at no charge to the victim.
Rebekah Stratton, director of sales and marketing of Cambridge Retirement Living, said she reached out to Chris Hornick at the Corry Area Chamber of Commerce and she recommended Safe Journey as the recipient of baskets.
"I called [Safe Journey] and they were so appreciative," Stratton said. "We got it underway in about 24 hours so we're really excited."
Businesses, organizations and individuals are encouraged to put together Easter baskets for children ages 1 to 10. Both boy and girl baskets are needed.
"After I talked to the shelter, these are some suggestions they had: little toys, craft kits, puzzles, coloring books, crayons, anything that kids would enjoy that they might not normally have access to in these kinds of situations, so anything that would help them just to be a kid for a little while," Stratton said.
Candy is permitted to be put in the baskets but donors are reminded to avoid allergen sources such as peanuts.
Cambridge Corry, located at 771 E. Columbus Ave., is offering a contact-less drop-off option for Easter baskets Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.
"They can just bring it to the building and leave it on the front porch, or if they want to make special arrangements to drop it off after those hours listed, they just need to call the number so the staff knows to keep an eye out for it," Stratton said.
To make a special arrangement, call 814-664-4691.
Cambridge Corry announced the collection of Easter baskets on Monday, Feb. 15, and the drive will run through March 31.
"That will give us time to get connected with the shelter and get them in the baskets before Easter Sunday, which is early this year," Stratton said. "We've already had three local businesses offer to make baskets."
Easter Sunday falls on April 4 this year.
The idea to collect Easter baskets for children in need came from a different Cambridge facility through the company's giveback initiative.
"As a company, we have Cambridge Cares, which is kind of our initiative of ways to stay connected to the community and give back. One of our other sister communities actually came up with the idea. We all loved it so much that we wanted to be able to share it with other communities across the state, so we're looking at doing them at a lot of our other buildings if there's a need in the community," Stratton said.
Corry Cambridge is happy to bring the basket collection to the Corry-area community, according to Stratton.
"We want to show that we're here for the community," she said. "I just think it's important as a community that we keep finding ways to come together. That's really important to Cambridge as a whole, that we find ways to stay connected, because yes, we're a business, but we're in the people business and it's all about the people."
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cambridge Corry isn't able to have it's typical in-house events, such as an open house or family day, so this is a way to interact with the community and get residents of the facility involved.
"Even if you don't have something to give, if you're struggling, just spread the word with someone who can. I think it's so important that we just as a community keep coming together, because that's the only way we're going to get through this," Stratton said.
"The residents love it. They get involved counting up the baskets or the coats and the different things we did, so it's important to the residents that live there, too," she added.