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Oasis, a Safe Haven for Women and Children in Paterson, NJ is one of the locations that St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters provide assistance to within our network. This year for Easter, Oasis' resident "Easter Basket Lady" Maria Koukoularis made 800 (wow!) baskets while an additional 400 were received via donations.

The importance of family is something that St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters and Oasis both share. As Oasis' Executive Director Sr. Gloria Perez puts it, "Today's family structure is not the structure of the past. Our community is made up predominantly of single parent families. And when you work with the poor, they are so busy trying to support a family and pay their rent, sometimes family values can get lost."

During Easter, the goal of both St Francis Food Pantries and Oasis was to provide the food and Easter baskets that bring families together, to sit at the same table and share with each other gifts, friendship, values and tradition.

Very important setup for basket distribution is underway! Not one, but, two Easter bunnies = JACKPOT!

These cuties, and young volunteer, are all smiles for a photo-op before heading inside! How many baskets can you count?

Oh no! We're guessing these twins aren't too excited to meet the Easter Bunny. This adorable little lady may not be too thrilled, either. (She must not know that's the very friendly Jim Walsh from Oasis under there!)

The Easter party for teens at Oasis included baskets, artwork and manicures! Peek-a-Boo, we see you!

Maria Koukoularis made 800 Easter baskets for Oasis, (we're sure her adorable daughter helped too!)
Nothing but smiles when the Easter bunny is around!
"He was so excited to come here today, he couldn't sleep last night!"
Everyone loves the Easter Bunny!
Thank you again, Maria! These baskets made A LOT of children very happy!