A real Easter bunny

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:36

MILFORD - The folks at Child Care Information Services of Pike County say Sophie Bekirov is the Easter Bunny. Employee Jill Gamboni said she got a call from Miriam Thompson, Sophie’s daughter, who was looking for families who might need help getting visits from the Easter Bunny. Gamboni said the agency wound up receiving and distributing 91 wrapped and decorated Easter baskets filled with candy, books and stuffed animals. “They wound up going all around the county,” Gamboni said as she marveled at the woman’s generosity. Thompson said her mother is behind it all and has been doing it for several years. “She likes doing things for people. She reads the papers and finds things people need and gets them set up with them.” Thompson, whose daughter attends the Ann Street School, said her mother also has helped the preschool and that led to parents at the school helping to fill Easter baskets. “She was going to do 50, but things kept coming and we wound up with 91.” Bekirov offered - with modesty - that her efforts are “just an excuse to go to post-season sales.” Easter isn’t her only season. The resident of Hamptonburgh in Orange County, N.Y., is working with a local church, filling shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, an evangelical international childrens’ relief program. The baskets and shoeboxes, admittedly, are time-consuming projects, but right now that’s a good thing for Bekirov, who, at 54, is undergoing chemotherapy in a fight with cancer. The treatment is draining. “I’m okay. The doctors are hoping for full remission. I have good days and bad days, but I can’t just lay around.” In past Bekirov has worked as part-time teaching preschoolers in Goshen, N.Y. Now, she is eager to complete her treatments and get on with her dream of opening her own preschool. Retiring recently after 31 years working for Kraft Foods in New Jersey, that was the plan, before her illness delayed her. “There is such a shortage of good day care around the area,” she said. And we’ve learned what happens when Sophie Bekirov finds there is a need. If you would like to help Sophie Bekirov with her philanthropic work, call her at 845-496-8483 or e-mail mrsbekirov@aol.com .