SEA ISLE CITY — Following a successful Lenten outreach program that yielded an abundance of candy, cellophane Easter grass, snacks, toys, and other treats, the Catholic Daughters Court Our Lady of Mercy, of Saint Joseph Church, used the many items they collected from fellow parishioners to brighten the Easter season for needy children, homebound seniors, and struggling teenagers.
In addition to chocolate bunnies and many other sweets, individually packaged snacks, and a variety of playthings, the trove of goodies also included handmade greeting cards created by students attending the parish’s religious education program and autographed copies of Sea Isle City-themed children’s books penned by local author Cheryl Kehner.
With all of the donated items piled onto tables inside the parish auditorium, on March 23 a handful of religious education students assembled dozens of overflowing baskets intended for children. On the next day, the Catholic Daughters gathered to fill the remaining baskets.
After being wrapped in plastic and decorated with colorful ribbons, 49 Easter baskets were delivered to The Branches Outreach Center in Rio Grande for distribution to homeless families, 15 baskets were delivered to the Sea Isle City United Methodist Church Food Cupboard, 15 baskets were brought to the doors of local homebound residents, and 15 baskets were sent to Covenant House in Atlantic City for struggling teenagers and victims of human trafficking. The Catholic Daughters also made a visit to the Holy Redeemer Food Panty in Clermont to donate all of the candy and snacks that could not be fit into the aforementioned baskets.
“I can’t get over how wonderful everyone is in our community, you ask for one thing and they give you ten,” said Catholic Daughter Bette Keller, organizer of the event. “We received an outstanding turnout of support from our parish, and the organizations that received the baskets were very grateful.”
Mrs. Keller added: “As Mother Theresa said, ‘Good works are a link in the chain of love – and we often forget how important good works are.’”
To learn more about the Catholic Daughters of Saint Joseph Church, please visit https://www.stjosephsic.org/ or phone 609-263-8696.