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Cook County Department of Corrections Officers to donate Easter basket to local kids

By at April 20, 2011 | 11:02 am | Print

cook county board president, Toni Preckwinkle, 2011 capital improvement planOfficers from the Cook County Department of Corrections undertook their own collection of toys, clothes, Easter baskets and other goodies to share with local hospitalized children, as well as a local family recently devastated by a fatal fire.

On Wednesday, April 20th officers from the Cook County Jail will be delivering Easter baskets to RML Specialty Hospital, Stroger Hospital, and to the Austin family, whose Englewood home was destroyed by fire in early April.

Officers plan to arrive at their first stop, RML Specialty Hospitals, by 8:30 a.m. where they will unload large toy-filled Easter baskets to be presented to the 35 children currently being treated at the hospital. A reception is set for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 20 at RML Specialty Hospitals (3435 W. Van Buren Street in Chicago).

Their next stop will be around 12:00 p.m., at Stroger Hospital (1900 W. Polk, in Chicago), where baskets will be presented to those in the hospital’s pediatric ward, on the 4th floor of the facility.

Officers began collecting for the Easter basket drive in early April, and over just two weeks amassed enough goodies to fill more than 100 large Easter baskets, as well as some monetary donations which were used to help put the baskets together. This drive was coordinated entirely by Sheriff’s staff, and not department sponsored. Sergeant Edmond Arnold, who was the driving force behind the collection, noted that the generosity of the employees who donated was “overwhelming” with both sworn and civilian employees from across the jail compound clamoring to help bring Easter joy to local children in need.

Since the Easter basket collection was abundantly successful, officers decided to extend their donation to the Austin family, whose Englewood home was destroyed in a fire on April 7th. Three children from the family died in the fire, and the seven siblings who escaped safely were left without clothes and toys. The final stop tomorrow will be to donate new clothing and Easter baskets to the Austin family.

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