Students learn through Easter giving

Easter, like most holidays, has become commercial and all about candies and toys. But for Pati Papineau, it has become a special holiday to give back to the community and help out the less advantaged.As the acting creator, president and director of The Easter Basket Project Inc., Papineau has made it her personal goal to help people in Rutland County. The Easter Basket Project Inc. not only focuses on disadvantaged families, but also helps the disabled, low-income seniors, and victims of tragedy during Easter time.

“In its 10 years of existence, The Easter Basket Project inc. has helped over 8,000 people” Papineau said.

Families have received not only non-perishable foods, but home supplies including paper products, detergent, bar soap, band-aids, and disposable razors.

“The Easter Basket Project Inc. serves a great a great purpose because it coincides with the Rutland County school vacations, and the children are not getting their subsidized meals,” Papineau said.

Castleton State College became involved four years ago after Dave Wolk became president. Wolk said he saw a great opportunity to let the students of CSC learn by helping the community that surrounds the college.

“It is an important service to the community because Thanksgiving and Christmas are the traditional holidays when food shelves are well stocked and baskets are delivered by many different organizations,” Wolk said. “The Easter Basket Project provided a needed service at a time of the year when many families find the cupboards bare.”

Joanna Cardillo, a junior at Castleton, said she finds the work uplifting.

“Knowing that we are helping people in need is what I enjoy about doing the Easter Basket Project,” she said.

After the program was initiated on campus by Wolk, Director of Community Service and Internships Crispin White took The Easter Basket Project under his wing.

“If you give a job to Chrispin, he always does it and he does it well,” Wolk said.

Students on campus have been making boxes and donating more each year than the last, White said.

“The Castleton State College community has been wonderful in helping out with this cause,” he said.

The city of Rutland proclaimed April 1-7 Project Easter Basket Week through the efforts of the local group influenced other counties and the state to follow suit.

“I am delighted that our students continue to make a big difference in the community before they go out to make an even bigger difference in the world,” Wolk said.

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