Spotswood alliance donates Easter baskets to hospital’s children’s ward


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SPOTSWOOD–Filled with toys, stuffed animals and gift cards, the Spotswood Municipal Drug and Alcohol Alliance gave out Easter baskets for children at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.

Alliance Coordinator Dawn Crandall said the group began collecting items in March.

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“For over 10 years I have been doing a Christmas toy drive every year for the pediatric ward in Saint Peter’s and it goes over big. This year I was thinking, Wow what happens between Christmas until the next year, does anyone do Easter baskets? When I found out no one did I felt the need to try,” Crandall said. “Well, lo and behold when I brought it up to my committee they were all in. So we put the word out that we were looking for donations for Easter baskets and wow did we get a ton of stuff.”

Crandall said the alliance made more than 50 baskets.

“Needless to say I [was] overwhelmed with how much we received. So, on April 15, we [went] to the hospital and personally delivered each child a basket filled with lots of stuff, age=appropriate.”

Crandall said the Easter basket drive would not have been possible without donations from the alliance members, Police Officer John Fedak, Georges Road Baptist Church,
Spotswood Parent Teacher Association, Crescent Park Senior Housing Social Worker/Service Coordinator Tami Mcgeachy, the Savage Cerakote Gun Shop, the Spotswood Department of Recreation, Pastor Steve Allen and Vera Allen from Church of God, Lorelei Staffing, the Spotswood PBA, Husky House, Brunswick Memorial Home, Goddard School, Pixie Pre-School and many friends and family.

Members of the Spotswood Police Department and the alliance helped deliver the Easter baskets, according to Crandall.

“I have been working with Kristal Neal from Saint Peter’s, she is the child life coordinator and is amazing to work with she knows every child and their likes and dislikes, which makes it’s so much easier to do this,” Crandall said. “I also want to say it took well over five hours for myself and another member Colleen Wronko to make each and every basket special for each child.”

Crandall said the Easter baskets had bubbles, books, coloring books, crayons, markers pencils, Play-Doh, small toys, Easter-related items, stickers, gift cards and baby items.

“My overall feelings about doing this is it makes me feel that if I can put a smile on a child’s face if only for a few minutes knowing what they are going through is all worth it to me,” Crandall said. “Walking into the rooms and having the child smile and get so excited after handing them the basket is what it’s all about.”

Crandall said the Spotswood PBA donated gift cards. Sgt. Edward Schapley went with her to the hospital as he is also an alliance member. She said Chief Michael Zarro and all the officers are always big supporters of the alliance.

“We will absolutely be doing this next Easter but we also do Christmas presents at Christmas time which I have been doing for over 12 years,” Crandall said. “There is nothing I wouldn’t do to see a child smile that’s in the hospital.”

For more information about the Spotswood Municipal Drug and Alcohol Alliance, visit

Contact Vashti Harris at

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