2011-03-12 / News

Mental Health America gearing up for Easter basket project

NEWARK – Mental Health America (MHA) is again calling on local community volunteers to help with its annual Eve Elliott Easter Basket Project. Reaching out to those who are isolated by age or infirmity or mental health conditions; to the residents of senior centers, correctional facilities, shelters or other custodial care situations is important to keeping people well and in supporting recovery.

For 57 years, MHA has invited local scout troops, school groups, church groups and family groups to donate Easter baskets that the Agency then distributes throughout Licking County with the help of the Leadership Licking County program of the Chamber of Commerce. In 2010, the Project distributed more than 3,000 baskets.

According to MHA Executive Director Paddy Kutz this is one of those projects where a small gesture can bring a huge benefit.

“We are not looking for actual baskets full of candy,” said Kutz. “Many of the facilities we work with would not permit us to distribute them. We are talking about a small deli-style container with one or two Peeps, some Easter grass and a couple of wrapped chocolates.”

For recipients who cannot have candy, the Agency prepares a small fruit tray with an apple and a pair of bananas. Kutz noted that the Agency also provides for those who are diabetic and those who cannot accept any food items.

“ The community has really embraced this project,” said Kutz. “They provide the lion’s share of the baskets and really seem to appreciate the spirit of the project.”

Mental Health America has an information sheet for those interesting in participating in this year’s effort. To receive a copy, please contact project coordinator Graham Campbell at 788-0301, or send an email to prevention@mhalc.org.

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