6th graders pack Easter baskets for Chicago homeless children

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Sixth graders from the Queen of Martyrs school packed colorful Easter baskets for homeless children Thursday at the Mercy Circle retirement community.

"To think someone thought about them and cared about them, they'd be like 'Wow, that's nice,'" said Kathleen Ahler, a case worker at Margaret's Village shelters.

Margaret's Village provides temporary refuge for homeless families and women, some of whom arrive without belongings.

"Some children and families arrive with what they're wearing, that's all," Ahler explained.

She shared that challenging reality with the students, whose efforts will benefit Margaret's Village. The impact was clear.

"They don't have the stuff that we have, so this will hopefully brighten their day," said 11-year-old Matthew Sears.

"It's better to give than to receive," added his classmate, Abbie Osborne.

With Easter coming up, gift bags filled with candy, toiletries and toys were the perfect solution.

This was the third annual Easter basket event co-sponsored by Mercy Circle and 19th Ward Alderman Matt O'Shea's office.

O'Shea sees the event as a great way to bring the Sisters of Mercy and children together, fostering mentorship and good deeds.

"They're both working together to have a positive impact on families in need, so it's a win for everybody," he said.

"Can you imagine the conversations at the dinner table tonight," reflected Sister Ellen Ryan. "That will encourage them to do more."

The students from the Evergreen Park school are off to a good start, with more than 60 baskets bundled, ready to make the future brighter for those in need.
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