This year the Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds Award was presented to the Bunny Hoppers, a group of four sisters, whose mission is “to put a smile on the faces of the nursing home residents to let them know they are NOT forgotten.”
The Book of Golden Deeds award recognizes those whose good deeds otherwise go unnoticed. It acknowledges men and women who work for public good without expecting anything in return.
The Bunny Hoppers started their work in 2006. That year they visited four nursing homes on an Easter day. This year they gave out over 2000 bunnies at 25 area nursing homes.
Tommie Shadden shared her experience as Bunny Hopper. She told us that there was a time when one of the nurses from nursing home invited them to see one lady who was near her death and had no family of her own. They came in her room and told her that they cared and they would pray for her. One of them gave her a plush bunny and lady said to them that she did not feel alone anymore.
“We don’t do it for recognition. We do it because it’s from our hearts,” Shadden explained.
For Bunny Hoppers this is a way to celebrate Easter. Shadden said that after visiting nursing homes they drive around the town and when they see people on the street or in their yards they give them plush bunnies.
“The people love the surprise of seeing the Easter Bunny on Easter,” Shadden said.
Also, for Bunny Hoppers the memories they help other people to create are the best reward for their work. Shadden shared one of those memorable moments they helped create.
“Once we saw a family taking a picture with their kids in the yard. So we stopped and asked if they’d like to get a picture with the Easter Bunny. The father got teary-eyed as he thanked us and said they’d never forget this Easter,” she told.
The Bunny Hoppers depend on donations – both cash and stuffed animals. It has evolved into an almost year-round task as they sort and clean the donated plush for giving the next year. Exchange Club of the Quad Cities members brought bunnies and other plush animals for the Bunny Hoppers to present to nursing home residents and others.
If you would like to make a donation to the Bunny Hoppers efforts please contact
Tommie Shadden her number is 3097210496 or Josie Bustos at 309-798-0745.
Pictured: The Garcia Sisters (Bunny Hoppers): Bonnie Patton, Irene Mawson in rabbit costume, Tommie Shadden and Josie Bustos, with the “Book of Golden Deeds Award” presented by Bob Hellstrom of the Exchange Club.
“The Exchange Club of the Quad Cities is a community service club and part of the National Exchange Club. With over 900 clubs and almost 21,000 members throughout the USA, Exchange sponsors a diverse array of programs and projects involving service to youth, community service, patriotism, and the prevention of child abuse. The Exchange Club of the Quad Cities was chartered in 1969 and meets twice a month at The Windmill Restaurant in East Moline, IL. Learn more about Exchange by calling 563.508.0280.”