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Windsor volunteers bringing Easter treats and a bit of normal to town’s kids

  • An example of an Easter basket that will be distributed to children in Windsor on Sunday. (Jessica Davis photograph) Jessica Davis photograph

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/10/2020 9:36:27 PM
Modified: 4/10/2020 9:36:11 PM

WINDSOR — Each year, dozens of children turn out for Windsor’s annual Easter egg hunt.

This year, the hunt was canceled along with many others throughout the Upper Valley due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two Windsor residents, recognizing how much the egg hunt means to the town’s children and their families, are organizing an Easter basket distribution for the community.

“We’re hoping that people who utilize it are the people who can’t offer their children something this year,” said Jessica Davis, who is organizing the effort along with Morgana Isenberg.

The baskets are also serving as a way to honor Isenberg’s stepson Jack, who died by suicide on May 26, 2018, at age 12. After his death, Isenberg started #DoItForJack with a goal of spreading kindness and raising awareness about bullying. Each basket will include a hand-painted kindness rock, which Isenberg distributes in Jack’s memory.

“This is the perfect time to talk to your kids,” Isenberg said. “We have to take care of each other.”

Davis and Isenberg started discussing the idea on Wednesday and quickly put a plan into place. Families can sign up for baskets on the event’s Facebook page “Easter Baskets For Windsor Area Kids by #DoItForJack,” or by contacting Davis and Isenberg through Facebook (you can also donate via Facebook). Requests are due by 3 p.m. Saturday and include each child’s age and gender. The baskets are directed at children ages 2-12, but older and younger children can also take part. Participants will then be assigned a time slot between 9:15 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday when they can drive to the town common to pick up the baskets. Isenberg, Davis and others wearing protective gear will place the baskets in recipients’ cars. The plan has been approved by town officials, Davis said. As of Thursday afternoon, they had around 25 kids signed up.

“They might not cost a lot of money, but it’s something they can enjoy, something they can do with their families,” Isenberg said of he baskets. “We might have the Easter bunny, but it’s not 100% right now.”

While the baskets will contain some candy, they will mostly include items such as sidewalk chalk, bubbles and coloring pages — activities kids can do while social distancing.

“Some community members have donated, but the rest is out of pocket,” Isenberg said. “We’re getting donations every day.”

There will also be kid-friendly snacks like granola bars and Goldfish.

“We don’t want to send them home with a whole bunch of candy to be stuck inside with their parents all week,” Davis said with a laugh.

Windsor’s school break starts Monday and children do not have school assignments.

Davis’ 12-year-old son, James Regan, has struggled with social distancing, Davis said. He is a sixth-grader and he misses being at school and seeing his friends.

“I think he was a big part of why we thought to do this,” Davis said. “It’s been really hard for him to practice social distancing and being stuck inside more and learn(ing) at home.”

James will be on hand to help distribute baskets and is looking forward to it, Davis said.

“You don’t have to get something to feel good,” Davis said the project is teaching him. “You can feel just as good giving something to someone who needs help.”

While the egg hunt might not be taking place, Isenberg and Davis hope the Easter baskets will help bring joy to children in the Windsor area.

“To put myself in the shoes of children ... we wanted them to have one day that feels normal,” Davis said. “I think we just wanted them to not feel like this pandemic is taking everything away from them.”

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.




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