Police and volunteers bring Easter baskets to area children

Lisa Yates @Lisa_editor
Patti Poche, Gonzales Chief of Police Sherman Jackson, Christal Fleming, Cathy Robertson, Vanessa Bowles, Alesha Norman, Danita Stewart, Vickie Lambert, Schillesci Celestin, Thea Robinson and Tim Couret are working to spread the Easter spirit to those who can't afford it

For some families, the cost of an Easter basket is not in the budget.

So the Gonzales Police Department and Needy of Greater Baton Rouge are pitching in to help those who can't afford it.

Gonzales Chief of Police Sherman Jackson said members of his department have been volunteering their time to make sure children in Ascension Parish will have an Easter basket this weekend.

"We've been working with the schools to get Easter baskets to the kids, and our Junior Police is helping," he said. "Our Junior Police do a number of things to help the community."

Patti Poche works with the Junior Police organization, which is called the Gonzales Police Department Explorer Post. She is President of the Parents Committee for Gonzales Police Department Explorers.

"Our children, boys and girls ages 13-21, volunteered their time to put 200 Easter baskets together," she said.

Some of the kids helping out included: Wyatt Whiddon, Taylor Aull, Dillon LeJeune, Hunter Lambert, David Calvit and Caystin Poche. They worked at the police station recently, filling Easter baskets with candy, toys and chocolate for children of less fortunate families.

Tim Couret, who serves on the board of directors for Needy of Greater Baton Rouge, said he was grateful for the kids' help. He said his non-profit organization has partnered with the Gonzales Police Department for the last three years on the Easter basket project.

"Thanks to the generosity of area residents, Needy of Greater Baton Rouge will distribute a total of 1,500 Easter baskets to local schools and area parishes," he said. "Representatives from six schools in the area will get 30 baskets each to take back to their schools to be distributed to kids."

The representatives from are schools included: Alesha Norman with Gonzales Primary; Thea Robinson and Schillesci Celestin with G.W. Carver Primary; Danita Stewart and Christal Fleming with Pecan Grove Primary; Vickie Lambert with Central Primary; Vanessa Bowles with Duplessis Primary; and, Cathy Robertson with Sorrento Primary.

Couret explained police officers and school officials worked together to identify needy families. He said it's important for individuals and organizations to do good for underpriviliged kids.

"They're still kids and it's Easter," he said.

For more information about Needy of Greater Baton Rouge, call (225) 978-4317.