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Easter Bunny delivers baskets with United Way

By Rob Novit, Aiken Standard

940 days ago   Article ID# 1532533
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United Way of Aiken County

AIKEN, SOUTH CAROLINA (Aiken Standard) - When volunteers with the Aiken Area Council on Aging's Meals on Wheels program arrive at her home, June Davis usually hears them drive up and will glance out the window.

On Monday, she got a surprise.

"Oh, look here," Davis said to herself. "There's a bunny out there."

Sure enough, the Easter bunny had arrived with United Way's Candis Moyer and the City of Aiken's Cammie Hayes to bring Davis an Easter basket full of useful items, as well as a meal for lunch.

"Look at this," Davis said warmly. "Isn't this special? That's fantastic! Thank you."

The United Way of Aiken County has created or collected about 900 Easter baskets in recent weeks. About 500 are going to the Council on Aging. Those in the Meals on Wheels program tend to have more limited mobility and received larger baskets. The smaller ones went to those clients who attend the agency's group-dining program.

"When they open their baskets, it's better than Christmas," said Sharon Cowden, a Council on Aging service director. "They get things they can't normally purchase - envelopes and stamps, bath soaps, toiletries, even shaving cream and razors. Those with group dining get crackers, things of that nature. They really do enjoy this."

The remaining baskets will go to nursing homes and the Aiken County Salvation Army's senior program, Moyer said.

"We did about 144 baskets at United Way, filled with items donated to us," she said.

UPS Brokerage is the largest donor of baskets, with the City of Aiken, Publix, 13 public schools, Aiken Electric Cooperative, civic organizations and individuals also participating this year.

The city donated 31 baskets, and eight were delivered to Meals on Wheels residents Monday. The bunny was portrayed by Alecia Davis, the City of Aiken's human resources director. She was a good sport in wearing the heavy costume, too, as the temperature in late morning was approaching a startling 90 degrees.

"It feels good to see the smiles on some of the seniors' faces," Davis said. "It might be the only visit they get today. It's great to bring some joy in their lives, as the baskets have some really useful things in there. I really enjoyed myself."

A retired Savannah River Site staffer, June Davis had remained active until suffering a stroke about three years ago. The weekday meals are much appreciated, she said, because she can't stand for long periods to cook meals.

"It's not bad to get old, just a little inconvenient," said Davis. "It's just great to get the Easter basket today. There are a lot of good things in it."

Senior writer Rob Novit is the Aiken Standard's education reporter and has been with the newspaper since September 2001. He is a native of Walterboro and majored in journalism at the University of Georgia.

Copyright 2014 Aiken Standard   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 940 days ago   Article ID# 1532533

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