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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Wicker Park Business Owners Need Help Making Easter Baskets For West Side Kids

The owners of Helendora Samuels Picture Framing asked neighbors to donate baskets, grass, colorful ribbons and plastic bags.

The Rev. Sylvester "Tommy" Samuels and Helendora Samuels outside their custom framing shop in Wicker Park.
Hannah Alani / Block Club Chicago
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WICKER PARK — The owners of Helendora Samuels Picture Framing are making 100 Easter baskets for children in Austin, Lawndale and Wicker Park, and they need some help from neighbors.

Helendora Samuels, co-owner of the frame shop at 1736 W. North Ave., said she needs supplies to create the baskets and for volunteers to help package the baskets.

The baskets will be filled with toys left over from Samuels’ holiday toy drive, during which neighbors donated hundreds of toys for children on the West Side.

“I’m grateful, so now we can make Easter baskets for the children,” Samuels said. “I’m gonna need some hands on deck.”

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Supplies needed include baskets, plastic grass, colorful ribbons and plastic bags to cover the baskets. Donations can be dropped off at the framing shop. Samuels asked neighbors to call 312-770-0713 to coordinate dropoffs.

Co-owned by her husband Tommy Samuels, the framing shop opened seven years ago and is one of the few Black-owned businesses in Wicker Park

Helendora Samuels grew up in Austin. Her nonprofit, Stepping Out In Faith/I AM Austin, as well as Tommy Samuels’ church, The Righteous Way Of Living Ministries, sponsor annual toy, coat and boot drives. 

On Friday nights pre-pandemic, the couple invited children from the West Side and from Wicker Park to their framing shop for art lessons. Last summer, the Samuelses organized a peace march through Wicker Park.

Helendora Samuels has said she hopes these efforts will create a “bridge” between Wicker Park and Austin.

To learn more about the Samuelses framing business or Helendora Samuels’ nonprofit work, email samuelsframegraphicsstudio@gmail.com or call 312-770-0713.

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