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Young artists find inspiration at Easter

  • Written by Kelly White

charlie and claire photo 4-14

Photo by Kelly White

Evergreen Park residents Charlie Cushing, 6, and his sister, Claire, 4, work on handmade Easter cards to be distributed to hospitalized children at the Evergreen Park Public Library.

Maeve Broderick aspires to become an artist.

The 6-year-old Evergreen Park resident spends her free time coloring, drawing and making homemade craft projects In her first-grade classroom at Most Holy Redeemer School. Maeve also looks forward to art projects. On April 3, she utilized her artistic talents and joined several other youngsters, including her 3-year-old sister, Katie, at the Evergreen Park Library to make Easter cards for hospitalized children.

“I really like working on arts projects and making crafts that I can share with or give to other people,” Broderick said. “It makes them happy.”

“We visit the library on a weekly basis and I like to get my children as actively involved as possible, especially when it’s for such a good cause,” Brigid Broderick, Maeve’s mother, said.

The staff at the library, 9400 S. Troy Ave., Evergreen Park, hosted the youth event to make handmade Easter cards for hospitalized children, just in time for the holiday.

All materials were provided by the library staff. The cards were created out of construction paper that had an Easter bunny cutout on it. They were then decorated with markers, colored pencils, crayons, Easter-themed stickers and cotton balls for bunny tails, before being cut out in the shape of an Easter bunny.

Each card was designed by a child with their personal favorite colors and held an uplifting and encouraging message written inside for the card’s recipient. The event was free. It was organized and guided by Laura Meyer, the children's librarian.

“Kids love to make cards and be creative, so it's fun for them,” Meyer said. “It gives children in the community an opportunity to volunteer, be crafty and do something kind for someone else. It also gives them a chance to brighten the day of another child.”

The participants were not instructed by Meyer on what to write. Children were instead encouraged to come up with their own message in accordance to the holiday as well as offering good wishes.

“The cards are very happy and positive,” Meyer said.

The cards will be going to “Cards for Hospitalized Kids,” a non-for-profit organization based out of Chicago that is internationally recognized charitable organization that spreads hope and joy to hospitalized kids through uplifting, handmade cards. The program has been running for over five years and at the discretion of the organization, over 100,000 children in hospitals in all 50 states have received a personalized card through the organization, including volunteers like those at the Evergreen Park Public Library.

Meyer sent the cards to Cards for Hospitalized Kids, and volunteers of the organization will be distributing them to children's hospitals nationwide and to Ronald McDonald Houses for Children. The cards will be delivered prior to Easter Sunday.

“I like helping others,” Charlie Cushing, 6, of Evergreen Park, said, as he colored a card filled with orange and blue Easter bunnies, alongside his 4-year-old sister, Claire. “It’s fun to make cards for other people.”

“My children love sitting and coloring and working on craft projects together,” said Colleen Cushing, Charlie’s mother. “The library always has great ways to get the kids involved in something important.”