Monday 16 September 2019

'The smiles are endless' - volunteers collect 3,500 Easter eggs for children in hospitals and homeless services

The Easter bunny delivering eggs to children in hospital
Photo: Facebook/Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal
The Easter bunny delivering eggs to children in hospital Photo: Facebook/Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal
Some of the eggs that Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal will give to children Photo: Facebook/Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal
The Easter bunny delivers chocolate to hospital Photo: Facebook/Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

KIND-HEARTED volunteers have collected 3,500 Easter eggs to deliver to children in hospital, homeless organisations and to schools for pupils with special needs.

Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal l is run by Michael and Catherine Middleton, from Cork, who have delivered more than 16,000 of the chocolate treats to delighted children since they set up the non-profit organisation in 20111.

Thanks to them every inpatient child in Cork and Dublin will receive an Easter egg this year.

“I’m around to all the hospitals in Cork this weekend,” Michael told Independent.ie.

“Every inpatient child in hospital in Cork this weekend will get an Easter egg and the same in Dublin. Every inpatient in Temple Street and the Ronald McDonald House and Crumlin Hospital in Dublin has received an egg.

“I go out with staff from Resort Condominiums International and GlaxoSmithKline. One particular place we go is Cope, a special school for special children in Montenotte. We go into a hall where teachers bring out something like 120 children. These children might be in wheelchairs because they have difficulty walking. Some people have difficulty talking.

The Easter bunny delivers chocolate to hospital
Photo: Facebook/Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal
The Easter bunny delivers chocolate to hospital Photo: Facebook/Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal

“I dress as the Easter bunny and we play music for ten minutes waving and shaking hands. Everyone is dressed up and all the children are wheeled up to me and we distribute the eggs. The kids that can’t have chocolate get a balloon.”

Michael and Catherine set up the drive in 2011 after their son received treatment over the Easter period.

“My son was sick in 2010 and got fantastic care in Cork University Hospital and Crumlin Hospital,” Michael said.

“His operation was very serious because he had a blocked biliary outlet in his liver. The Air Corps was brought in and we went to King’s College.

Some of the eggs that Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal will give to children
Photo: Facebook/Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal
Some of the eggs that Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal will give to children Photo: Facebook/Cork Children's Easter Egg Appeal

“What inspired me at that time was it was Easter and there was nobody there giving out Easter eggs to the children. It was a quite gloomy Easter weekend in the hospital.

“I started in in 2011 and year-in-year-out it’s grown. We’ve done well collecting over 16,000 Easter eggs since 2011.

“We depend on family friends, and the businesses. There’s an elderly woman down the road and she comes up every year with a load of Easter eggs for me. It’s even the smallest amount that makes the difference.

“The smiles are endless, just to give them one Easter egg is brilliant.”

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