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Wicker Park, Bucktown, West Town

Here’s How You Can Help Make Easter Baskets, Meals For West Side Families

Helendora Samuels and Robert Magiet plan to hand out baskets and meals from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. April 3 in various locations throughout the city.

From left to right, Robert Magiet, Pastor Tommy Samuels, Helendora Samuels and Lauren Young gather to make Easter baskets for West Side children.
Robert Magiet / Provided

WICKER PARK — Helendora Samuels Picture Framing in Wicker Park and TaKorea Cocina in Ukrainian Village are teaming up to make this year’s Easter a little brighter for West Side families and children.

Local business owners Helendora Samuels and Robert Magiet are raising money — and building a group of volunteers — to create hundreds of Easter baskets and hot meals for families on April 3.

The project started when Samuels wanted to create Easter baskets for West Side children using leftover toy donations from her holiday toy drive. When Magiet read about Samuels’ idea in Block Club, he reached out to lend a hand through his nonprofit, West Town Feeds.

Samuels and Magiet plan to hand out baskets and meals from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. April 3 in various locations throughout the city.

During the pandemic Magiet has bought out local tamale vendors on cold days and operated a Love Fridge from his restaurant, TaKorea Cocina.

Magiet’s nonprofit, West Town Feeds, has orchestrated Thanksgiving and Christmas meals for people experiencing homelessness; St. Patrick’s Day meals for hospitality workers and ongoing meals for soldiers working the United Center vaccination site.

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.

Volunteers interested in packaging baskets or distributing meals and baskets should email westtownfeeds@gmail.com

Donate to the project by sending funds to West Town Feeds via Venmo (@westtownfeeds) or Zelle (westtownfeeds@gmail.com).

View a list of Easter giveaway locations here:

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