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Grinch who stole Easter doesn't stop egg hunt


March 28, 2010 at 10:04 p.m.
Updated March 28, 2010 at 10:29 p.m.

Fifteen month old Sofia Garza picks up her first egg during the egg hunt at Our Lady of Sorrows Church. Following the egg hunt children recieved Easter baskets and enjoyed cupcakes.Jennifer Ross/Advocate Photo Staff

The Our Lady of Sorrows Easter egg hunt Sunday was a few baskets short this year after a series of burglaries.

"They attacked our Easter collection," said Maria Pulido, the event organizer.

Burglars broke into the church's resale shop and stole about 13 Easter baskets in a series of burglaries in late February, she said.

Members had assembled the baskets out of toys and items donated to the resale shop, which supports the efforts of the church. The burglars also stole a tub full of candy and plastic eggs.

Pulido said after every burglary the church installed metal bars around windows and the door, but the incidents upset many members.

"We're a little resale shop," she said. "Nothing new. If you need it, just come and ask for it, and we'll give it to you."

But when they took from the kids, that's a whole other story, she said.

Even without the baskets and the stolen candy, Pulido and volunteers distributed 137 baskets to children who found golden eggs during Sunday's hunt.

Vanessa Martinez, a 9-year-old who said she loves chocolate and Easter, was among them.

"I think it's my second favorite holiday," she said, sitting in front of her opened Easter basket. "On Christmas you get a lot of presents from your family, but on Easter you get chocolate."

Adult members also enjoyed themselves.

Isaac Rojas, 42, danced most of the afternoon in a white bunny costume and posed for pictures with children.

"I tell you what, I love it," he said from behind his smiling rabbit-mask. "I almost feel like crying because I see all the smiles, all the happiness on their faces."

But the serious side of his role was welcoming in Holy Week, the most important time of the year for Catholics.

"The most beautiful part is coming to church and knowing what Holy Week is going to be about," he said.

As the church wrapped up Palm Sunday with the hunt and heads into Holy Week, Pulido continues hoping the burglars will be apprehended.

"I just hope that whoever's doing it gets caught," she said.

The resale shop helps victims of disasters or struggling economically, she said.

"If they're desperate for clothes, if they're desperate for survival, all they have to do is come for it," she said.



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