This year, an amazing local mom, teacher and school PTO president reached an incredible goal. She, with the help of her family, students, school parents and teachers, gathered and donated 7,800 Easter baskets for children in need.
Her goal was 7,000.
"We originally thought we would have 7,500 baskets for our April 3 deadline, but we got a last-minute donation from Nastar Roofing of Cape Coral for an additional $500 - and they had already donated $400. So that brought our grand total to 7,800 baskets," said Kellie McIntosh.
She's a Cape Coral resident who teaches at Good Shepherd Lutheran School on the border of North Fort Myers and the Cape. This is her forth year of doing the drive, and it has gotten bigger and better every year.
"Next year my goal is 15,000 baskets, and we will do it," she said.
"I want to thank everyone who was so much help in meeting that number. That included major donors Nastar Roofing, Top Notch Carpet Care and Legacy One Financial. Also, Ted Capuano, Carol Schneider, Il Primo Pizza, the Law Offices of Goldberg, Goldstein, Cechman, Rice & Purtz, Appliance Outfitters, Law office of Valencia Hayes and the students and families of Good Shepherd Lutheran School."
She also wanted to thank all of the employees at the numerous drop-off locations, including Cre8 Salon and Spa, Il Primo Pizza & Wings, the five locations of Goldberg, Goldstein, Cechman, Rice, & Purtz, Top Notch Carpet Care, Kimberly's Hallmark of North Fort Myers and Dimensional Construction, Inc.
Social workers picked up the baskets to distribute to children in need from agencies, shelters and the foster care system.
She worked with five different agencies including ACT, the Abuse Counseling Treatment Center for Women and Children of Lee County; the Children's Network of Lee County; shelters and more.
"We are now looking for company sponsors to be drop off locations for next year, donate baskets, and help us get the word out. We are starting now to sign up companies for drop off spots."
Another goal is to take this incredibly successful drive statewide.
"We want to establish 'Easter Bunny Headquarters' as a independent non profit organization. My goal is to get a congressman involved and take this to Tallahassee to go statewide."
For information, call McIntosh at Good Shepherd Lutheran School, 995-7711.