Baskets of Love

predriven-015How often do you get a chance to help someone out? Chances are that there are several opportunities for you to help someone, but how often do you actually help? Connie Jo and Chuck, owners of Chuck -n- Jo’s restaurant, (located on 890 Iowa St in Dubuque, IA) did not let an opportunity pass when they came up with “Easter Baskets of Love”

Started three years ago, Easter Baskets of Love supplies children in need of an Easter basket that’s filled with toys, candy and other Easter goodies. Kids from organizations such as the Maria House and St. Mark’s are given the baskets. Everything is 100% donated and the work is all volunteer based – businesses (including Runde) within the community donate items for the baskets.

Connie Jo With Her Baskets of Love

Connie Jo With Her Baskets of Love

This is the third year of the event. When it started, there were fewer than 200 baskets made.  The following year it took off with over 600 baskets and this year there is a goal to make over 1,000 baskets. The volunteers will get together on April 1st to make baskets. There were 17 volunteers who donated their time to help this great cause last year. Lately, there have been requests to donate baskets to the elderly and retirement homes. Connie plans on accommodating these requests this year with more baskets.

Kids absolutely love receiving the baskets. Inside each of the baskets is a note which says where the volunteer came from and the donator’s name.  This way the kids can know who is giving them the gifts. Inside the restaurant is a wall of thank you notes where kids can see their notes and enjoy reading them. They plan to keep the wall up and going.

Connie used to live in Texas. She lived in a kind of rough neighborhood where not a lot of families could afford to have Easter baskets for their kids. Connie wanted to do something to make sure these kids could enjoy Easter. This began the concept of making baskets for less fortunate kids. Connie says she picked Easter because Christmas is overdone.

We could all learn something from the people involved in selfless acts like this. People out there do care about the well-being and happiness of others in the community. Runde would like to thank Chuck and Connie Jo for coming up with this noble event.

Click here to watch a video of Connie Jo explaining Baskets of Love.

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