COLCHESTER, Vt. - For the fifth straight year, Saint Michael's College Athletics is lending a hand to a local family's Easter basket drive that benefits children in local Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) centers.
Student-athletes from the College's women's basketball, field hockey, women's ice hockey, women's lacrosse, Alpine skiing and men's and women's swimming & diving teams have assembled the baskets, which have included such items as candy, athletic equipment, T-shirts and toys in the past.
The baskets will be transported from the Tarrant Recreation Center on Wednesday, April 16, by Town of Essex resident Jacquie Bolster. She and her daughter, Jessica, are in their 20th year organizing the Easter basket drive in conjunction with the College's Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel worshipping community, helping coordinate the efforts that volunteers undertake for this cause each year.
The annual endeavor was born two decades ago when Jessica Bolster's third/fourth-grade class at Founders Memorial School in Essex Junction, under teacher Ann Rathbone, learned about homelessness, which included a visit to COTS' Firehouse Family Shelter in Burlington around Easter. That experience led to the first drive, which the Bolsters have continued organizing even as COTS has opened additional shelters and served more children.
COTS provides emergency shelter, services, and housing for people who are homeless or marginally housed in Vermont. COTS advocates for long-term solutions to end homelessness. For more information about COTS, visit cotsonline.org.