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Easter Basket Drive nets over 1,000

By Staff | Apr 12, 2009

The goal of this year’s Good Shepherd School’s Annual Easter Basket Drive was 500 baskets to be donated to local organizations that help kids in need.
Officials hoped to make that goal and provide baskets for two different organizations. Instead, over 1,100 baskets were donated by community members and businesses, which allowed the school to work with nine different groups.
“It was beyond our wildest dreams,” said mom and volunteer Kellie McIntosh. “I was in tears. Instead of 500, we were able to help 1,100 children instead.”
Organizations that received baskets included Children’s Network, ACT (Abuse Counseling Treatment Center), Calvary Baptist Church, Children’s Advocacy Center, Salvation Army Homeless Shelter, Christian Life Fellowship, Day Break Fellowship, Children’s Oncology Hospital and local shelters for children affiliated with Children’s Network.
The entire student body of the school helped with the program.
“The middle school kids really worked hard,” McIntosh noted. “Several different kids were the Easter Bunny in promotions. They helped collect baskets and assemble them.”
The entire school collected baskets, and there was a contest to see who could collect the most.
“Mrs. Rosemary Jones’ kindergarten class collected over 230 baskets and were number one, but all of the classes contributed,” McIntosh said.
She said the outpouring of the business community was outstanding. Many donated funds to help buy candy, extra stuffers and the rest of the things needed to put together the baskets.
“We want to thank those contributors,” she said. “For those who donated $250 or more we called Platinum Sponsors, $150 to $250 were Gold and anything under $100 was Silver.”
Platinum donors included:
Carol Schneider with Sandbill Realty, SW Florida Addiction Services of Cape Coral, Joe Jekel with Legacy Financial, residents of Calusa Harbor, Senior Living, and Cleanest Carpet & Restoration.
Gold donors were residents of Barrington Terrace, Pro Files on Pine Island Rd, Tri County Landscape and Espresso to Go
Silver donors were Cape Coral High School Key Club, Frances Gray, Ann Herron and Denise Handlin Silver.
Business people also came to help.
“Cleanest Carpet & Restoration was our top donor with $400, but businesses like Pro Files on Pine Island Rd. also helped assemble,” McIntosh continued. “They had an Easter Basket party where employees and friends helped them assemble for us.”
Case workers picked up baskets Easter week, and she finished the deliveries.
The drive was a family affair for McIntosh.
“My kids have done so much, 10-year-old Alexys, a 4th grader, and six-year-old Abigail, who is in kindergarten, and even my 4-year-old, Kaden, helped,” she said. “He put together baskets alongside all of us.”
Her mom, Donna Jekel, is principal of the school and was fun to work with on the project, she said.
“My dad, Joe Jekel, was also one of our big financial donors and it was really cool to work with him, too,” she said.
The school is located at the corner of Hancock Bridge Parkway and Orange Grove Boulevard, and will do the drive again next year.
McIntosh said the goal for next year was 3,000 baskets.