It’s the little things that aren’t small, we all know that. If you stop and think about it, Easter Sunday is definitely a very big deal. A man died and came back to life. The miracle of miracles, say the faithful.
And at first glance, a simple donation to a local food bank might have little to do with what happened in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago. But it touched me. So I emailed Jhoana Hirasuna, Executive Director of Shepherd’s Pantry in Glendora, who works every day to help anyone in need of ‘hope and a helping hand’, as the mission puts it. from the pantry. Hirasuna received a donation of 85 Easter baskets from families at Glendora Online Academy of Learning. The gifts would be included in the distribution of Easter meals from the pantry on April 14 and 15.
She in turn introduced me to Melissa Germann, who is a teacher and also helps others on a daily basis. She first tells me that it was their honor to donate the baskets and that she is so proud of the GOAL community.
Four weeks ago, staff at the online school sent a flyer to its 350 students and their parents, inviting them to donate items for the campaign: sealed candies or nuts, snacks, silly putty, bubbles , small balls, yo yo and school supplies. The students made “Happy Easter” cards. All articles were collected at Whitcomb High School in Glendora, where GOAL staff are based.
Later, 50 students and staff assembled the baskets. Staff drove them to Shepherd’s Pantry in Glendora. The three food pantry establishments are home to small daily miracles: food distribution, advice, connections, tutoring, case management, and even haircuts and, one year, mini-pampering days for the mothers of clients. People go there for help. Many more from surrounding towns go there for to help.
Germann said the families at his online school felt it was their responsibility to bring joy to children who might not have much to be happy about.
“The GOAL program started last year and felt it was important to give our students the chance to participate in a service project, especially since the majority of them are not at their home campuses” , she said. “Last year we collected snacks and coffee products and donated them to staff at Foothill Presbyterian Hospital as they worked overtime to protect our community from COVID. This year we partnered with Shepherd’s Pantry to collect Easter baskets for families who received a free Easter meal through the pantry.
Germann said GOAL staff are proud of the generosity of students and their families and honored to partner with Shepherd’s Pantry to bring smiles to children’s faces when they receive their Easter baskets.
“Serving the community is an important part of the Glendora Unified School District tradition,” she added.
I thought of 85 local kids who might not be able to contain their joy as they open the crumpled cellophane candy basket, put on silly bunny ears and smell the new crayons they received. They will go to their mothers with sticky faces of Fun Dips. “Look what I have!”
I like to think of all the work that was done at that time. So yes, there is this Easter story. I like to think of the miracle in there.