SIDNEY — A Sidney mother is striving to brighten up Easter for foster children for the second year in a row.
April Hoying works as a play advisor for Discovery Toys, and every year the company encourages their advisors to give back to their community around Easter in some way. Last year was Hoying’s first year participating, and she had come up with the idea to create Easter baskets to donate to foster youth after seeking advice from Sylvia Roop, a foster parent recruiter for SAFY.
“I wanted to be able to help someone in our community that doesn’t have everything they might want,” Hoying said. “I got in contact with Sylvia, and she was so excited. As soon as I talked to her, I knew that this was the organization I needed to work with.”
Working with Roop, Hoying created Easter baskets for foster children in Shelby, Miami, Logan, Auglaize, Mercer, Champaign and Darke counties that go above and beyond the average Easter basket; while there are toys present, there are also items like books, journals, hygiene items, and school supplies. The goal is to make the baskets unique to each child and provide them with things that they would both want and need, and that would benefit them. All items in the baskets are either purchased through money that has been donated by community members and business owners or have been directly donated for the baskets. Last year, the baskets came as a pleasant surprise to the foster families that received them.
“The pandemic just happened two weeks before and families were still under quarantine, and it was a nice overall surprise. I had families waving at me through the windows, texting me or calling me expressing how thankful they were because some of them didn’t have a chance to go out and get Easter baskets for their kiddos. They were definitely very appreciative of it,” Roop said.
Hoying met a goal of 52 baskets last year; this year, her goal is 60 baskets worth roughly $45 each. Currently, 41 baskets have been finished, but she is at a standstill with donations and still has $800 to raise in order to reach the 60 basket goal.
“I had reached out to all of the businesses that donated last year, and some have not been able to donate this year just because of COVID and restrictions they’ve had. I have kind of expanded my reach, but I haven’t been lucky enough to find any additional donors yet,” Hoying said. “We’re still waiting on a few (donors), but we are still looking for businesses or community people who are interested in donating money toward the baskets.”
Hoying’s deadline for donations is currently the beginning of March, so that additional items that have to be ordered online can be done with enough time to allow for those items to be delivered and for Hoying to create the baskets. Those interested in donating can contact Hoying at (937) 417-2895 or [email protected].