Easter baskets have been around since the 7th century. They were left at the doorsteps of families as a resemblance of spring and new birth with Jesus rising from the tomb to flowers and trees blooming everywhere. Many, many, many years later baskets became a Spring gift that the Easter bunny left for children to find, just like presents under the tree from Santa at Christmas.
Local Families in Need
For some of our families in the Groveport Madison school district, having an Easter basket for their children was an added financial stress to their already stretched budget. Ten years ago, the Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools instructor, Kelly Robinson, from the Marketing & Logistics program at Groveport Madison HS, wanted to change this. The M&L program was already involved in our annual Christmas Adopt-A-Family program, but they wanted to do more.
Mr. Robinson put out a call to all teachers and staff at the high school that his class would be assembling Easter baskets for children whose parents couldn’t afford them. Similar to Adopt-A-Family, he asked if they would donate the items for the baskets. Those teachers also got their students involved and pretty soon Mr. Robinson’s room was full of candy, toys, stuffed animals, toothbrushes, baskets, plastic grass and more!
Each year sense, the M&L students assembled well over 50 baskets for children ages 10 and under. The majority of the baskets are distributed to recipients visiting the food pantry the Thursday before Easter. The remaining baskets were distributed to other local area families including those living at Woodspring Suites (formerly Value Place).
Easter 2020 and enter COVID19
This year, school was out effective March 16 for an undetermined amount of time with Easter creeping up on April 12. The closer it got to Easter, the closer the realization that school is not going to be back on session in the school buildings. This meant that the M&L class would not be able to provide the Easter baskets this year.
Thankfully, GMHN was blessed with extraordinary donations at the end of 2019 and the Board decided to allocate some money towards the purchase of 25 Easter baskets for distribution at the Greater Groveport Food Pantry on Thursday, April 9. Although these baskets did not have the special touch that the M&L students provided, it was a good improvisation plan….at least for this year!