Tips & Advice
- 02 April 2013
- by Katelyn Eystad
For many children, Easter would not be complete without a basket filled of chocolate bunnies and plastic eggs, but for some low-income families, the classic tradition isn’t possible.
Easter baskets have become an annual service project for the Angels Clothing Closet, a 501c3 nonprofit organization I founded. This year we gave out a grand total of 528 Easter baskets!
To kickoff the Angel’s project, I held a week-long drive in early March, encouraging the community to donate needed items. Candy, crayons, books, DVDs, and gift cards were among the various donations received for the Easter baskets. Once we had enough sweets and trinkets to fill the baskets with, volunteers donated their time to assemble and deliver over 500 baskets. Almost 40 volunteers of all ages were ready to help; even a county freeholder and local councilman came to lend a hand. Seeing the community come together for this service project was inspiring.
One woman wrote on my charity’s Facebook page after the volunteer event, “What a wonderful way to start the day-- Watching a very diverse group of people work together in order to accomplish the common good. All of the basket builders together looked like a colony of bees!”
But my holiday volunteering didn’t end at Easter baskets…
Every month the Angels Clothing Closet holds a community outreach event. For March, volunteers and I hosted a “Lunch with the Easter Bunny”, free for local children who are currently undergoing difficult situations. Some of the young attendees were living in homeless shelters, group homes, and foster care households. The activities at the Easter-themed event included a catered lunch, magic show, egg hunt, craft, and a special meet-and-greet with the Easter Bunny himself where everyone received a picture souvenir. Seeing all the children laughing and smiling was rewarding. Simple holiday traditions like pictures with the Easter Bunny, and annual egg hunts are things we take for granted every spring. I was humbled to create these memories for children in need.
Do you celebrate Easter? Next year, consider incorporating these ideas in your community to make a BIG difference for local children.