NORWALK, Conn. — St. Matthew's Church in Norwalk was buzzing with activity Saturday morning, as the group known as Al's Angels assembled and delivered Easter baskets to children in area hospital cancer wards.
Hundreds of bright yellow-colored baskets were put together by the Angels on Saturday morning. Angels founder and leader Al DiGuido said his group put them together in record time this year, thanks to terrific volunteers of all ages.
"We had over 200 volunteers, who are all members of Al's Angels," DiGuido told Daily Voice. "We started at 7:30 this morning, and assembled close to 2,000 Easter baskets that are all heading for 12 locations in the tri-state area — hospitals, oncology facilities — areas where there are children battling cancer, rare blood diseases and/or severe financial hardship."
This is the 12th year the Westport-based Al's Angels have put the baskets together for Easter. And every year the project grows.
"Every year we continue to grow and expand," said DiGuido, who also operates Saugatuck Sweets in Wesport and Fairfield. "We are excited that we have so many volunteers, and we were able to assemble the baskets in record time."
DiGuido said it's a much-needed service. "It's a tremendous message to families who are in desperate need, that there are people out there who care about them, love them and want to help them, and bring some love during the holiday season," he said.
The organization started in DiGuido's garage 20 years ago. By this past Thanksgiving season, they had nearly 1,500 volunteers - from small children to parents to grandparents.
"Anyone who's drawn to doing good is kind of drawn to this, because you can actually be actively involved in the work that goes on," he said.
DiGuido said that seeing the look on the face of a child when they get a gift is what drives the group.
"It's like you're bringing hope and love to someone, and it's just an incredible feeling to do that."
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