Lifestyle & Human Interest

'Sweet, Beautiful Act of Love': Boy, 6, Helps Donate Hundreds of Easter Baskets to Kids in Need


While many Christians have a bigger reason for celebrating Easter, lots of Americans have very specific ideas of how the more cultural angle is celebrated for children. Easter baskets, Easter egg hunts and gifts of candy and toys fall right alongside celebrating the resurrection of Christ.

But while everyone is free to celebrate the religious reason for the holiday without needing to shell out cash, the extra trappings of the day aren’t accessible to everyone.

That fact moved Luke Flerlage to make a difference in his own community, starting when he was just 3 years old.

In 2020, the Flerlage family joined the efforts of Alleluia Baskets, a program in O’Fallon, Missouri, whose aim is to provide gifts for children who might not otherwise get to experience that side of Easter.

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“Our incredible Easter baskets are gifted to children in economically challenged areas, currently in Missouri and Illinois, by our selfless volunteers supplied with our year round donations,” the Alleluia Baskets Facebook page says.

Mom Beverly Flerlage helped Luke put together some baskets at first, but it wasn’t long before he was putting them together himself and hatching a plan to “help more kids smile,” the group’s founder, Karen Mesler, told Fox News.

Last year, the boy’s family made strides when they ended up with several cars packed full of supplies for Easter baskets, but Luke had an even bigger goal for this year.

“He likes seeing [the volunteer effort] grow, getting bigger every year. And most of all it makes people happy and smile,” his mother said.

Plans for Easter 2023 began months in advance. As Sunday got closer, Luke was busy spreading the word and getting as many people involved as he could.

“He spoke to everyone he knew and everyone he met and said, ‘I’m collecting things for Alleluia Baskets, we’re helping kids smile on Easter,'” Beverly Mesler shared.

By drop-off time, Luke’s efforts had filled a box truck with 12,221 items, and it took a whole crew of volunteers to unload the items that would brighten hundreds of children’s days on Easter.

“Yesterday, we had the opportunity to help this young man, Luke, unload this trailer full of supplies that he donated to Alleluia Baskets,” the O’Fallon Fire Protection District page posted. “Luke raised money and collected this whole trailer full of supplies. He brought his buddy Finley along also to help out.

“It is awesome to see young people making a difference in their community. Great job Luke.”

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His donations went a long way, and on Easter, Alleluia Baskets shared on Facebook that it was able to give out more than 10,000 baskets this year.

“With the support of our dedicated volunteers, help from generous donors, love from friends & family and countless blessings from God, Alleluia Baskets was able to fill and distribute 10,681 Easter baskets to children and senior citizens in need this year,” the group shared. “Additionally, we were able to service 90 organizations!!”

“Thank you to everyone who helped us achieve this great accomplishment. May you all have a blessed & joyous Easter.”

In true Luke fashion, the young man is already trying to figure out how to top this year’s donations next year.

“It was a very sweet, beautiful act of love,” Mesler said of his fine work this year.

“Luke’s heart is in the right place, he is caring and wants to do good for others,” she continued. “He is conscious of the mission to bring joy to others at Easter.”

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