The signs of spring are starting to sprout. Green things, birds singing, flowers budding and baby bunnies hopping their way toward the idyllic image of Easter. This year the holiday will be fall on Sunday, April 5. Traditionally the Christian holiday recognizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, but is also used to celebrate rebirth, renewal, love and family. Often times youth can be spotted scouring yards for pale pink, blue and yellow dyed hard boiled eggs and collecting plastic eggs packed with juicy jelly beans and puffy Peeps.
However for some families the extra cost of overflowing Easter baskets is not accessible. This is where Waukee Area Christian Services (WACS) comes in. For the past seven years, they have been collecting donations to provide over 800 unique Easter baskets filled with not just sweets and small toys but useful apparel like socks and underwear.
WACS Director Melissa Stimple said she spoke with a mother who has four kids, and like most of the families served by the organization, they simple struggle to make ends meet.
The mother said they were always thankful for everything WACS assists with, but the special giving times like Easter are especially appreciated. The kids never get new socks and underwear, so that with the fun holiday memories for the kids are priceless.
Donations for underwear and socks can be in all sizes for children grades K-12th and both genders. Other items needed include Easter candies and fun, age-appropriate toys like bubbles, crayons, coloring books, sidewalk chalk and jump ropes.
Donations can be dropped off at the Waukee YMCA, at the WACS Food Pantry during regular open hours Mondays 4-6 p.m. and Thursdays 9-11 a.m. or any of the partner churches (found online here.).
Donations are needed by March 23.
Eric Kress, Waukee YMCA Executive Director, said that they chose to support the Easter basket drive because the Y’s goal is to strengthen community.
“One way we can do this is by encouraging our members to give of their resources for the benefit of those in need,” Kress said. “Waukee Area Christian Services serves many of the same members we do through our scholarship program, so they are an obvious partner for the Y. We believe if our members are invested in the well-being of their neighbors, we will have a more compassionate and connected community!”
Monetary donations are also accepted and should be made payable to Waukee Area Christian Services (WACS) with the memo “Easter” and mailed to the address 1155 SE Boone Dr, Waukee, IA 50263.