By Kristin Bednarski
Children at the James Sauls Homeless Shelter in Clermont County did not go without Easter festivities last week, thanks to local staff, volunteers and donors.
Debbie Ware, a member of Cornerstone Church, said she learned about the shelter several months ago and wanted to do something special for the children for Easter.
“I spent about a month homeless,” Ware said. “What I noticed as far as the spiritual side, is people weren’t just broke, they were broken.”
Ware said she knew her situation was temporary, but knew many people at the shelter didn’t know what tomorrow would bring.
“We need to make those people smile,” Ware said.
Ware said she reached out to the community for help to do something special at the shelter for Easter and was greeted with overwhelming support.
“It was a big snowball of volunteers,” Ware said.
She said she recruited her sister, Belva McQueen, to be the Easter Bunny at the event and Costume Castle in Loveland donated the costume. She received donations from Walmart, and photographer Keith Keiser with Keiser Photography donated his time to take photographs of all the children with the Easter Bunny.
“It is unbelievable, I am so in awe,” Jodie Tracey, case manager at the shelter, said about the event coming together.
Tracey said seeing the smiles on the kids faces during the event was wonderful. She said having more small events at the shelter during holidays or other times would mean so much to the children and their families.
“We don’t get to do stuff like that so it brightened the day,” Moriah Berchtold, a 12-year-old at the shelter, said.
Berchtold said it is nice that the employees at the shelter understand their situation and try to do things that make everyone feel better and have fun.
“Surprises like this are really awesome,” Berchtold said.
For more information about the James Sauls Homeless Shelter, visit www.cccsi.org/shelter or call (513) 732-6464.