Posted on: March 12, 2018

County Officials, Local Nonprofit to Host Easter Egg Hunt for Children with Special Needs

Easter Eggs

Children with special needs in Burlington County have a new opportunity this year to participate in a family-favorite Easter activity, thanks to a partnership between Freeholder Director Kate Gibbs, County Sheriff Jean Stanfield, and Breaking Grounds Coffee and Cafe in Mount Holly.

The county officials are joining forces with the area’s newest coffee shop, a local leader in providing work opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, to host a free Easter egg hunt on Saturday, March 24, 2018 on the lawn at the County Administration Building.

Breaking Grounds, which opened last December, is run by the Zefer Foundation who works to change society’s perception of individuals with developmental disabilities. The coffee shop is specifically designed to create jobs for young adults with autism, Down syndrome, or other developmental disabilities. Through these real world jobs, Breaking Grounds is providing their dozen employees with the communication, social and safety skills needed to improve their quality of life and be productive members of the community.

“We are so excited to partner with Breaking Grounds who has done so much to promote inclusion and diversity for developmentally disabled young adults in Burlington County,” said Freeholder Director Gibbs. “This egg hunt is not just about providing children with special needs and their families a chance to enjoy a great Easter tradition, but to highlight organizations that are providing real opportunities for all individuals in our community.”

The egg hunt will be held in three sessions and feature emergency vehicles on-site and a special appearance by the Easter Bunny. Children will participate in small groups and will be aided by sound, flashing light and magnetic devices. Participants will have the opportunity to enhance socialization with their peers, and increase independence and decision-making skills.

•           Session 1: Visually Impaired - 1:00 p.m.

•           Session 2: Mobility Impaired - 1:45 p.m.

•           Session 3: Autism and other disabilities - 2:15 p.m.

“This program is just one of the many innovative ways in which the Sheriff’s department seeks to better serve our citizens through community engagement,” said Sheriff Stanfield. “Our neighborhoods and towns are better and safer places to live when people come together and are accepting of everyone. I hope to build new ties with children and families from all over the county through our inaugural egg hunt.”

Those interested in attending should pre-register before Wednesday, March 21, 2018 by calling (609) 265-5131 or emailing ekocher@co.burlington.nj.us. The egg hunt is open to children of all ages with special needs. Food and light refreshments will be provided. Rain date is Saturday, March 31, 2018.

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