I have two children, ages 6 and 9. Last year around this time I remember scrolling through my Facebook feed and reading a post from a mom friend asking for Easter basket ideas. She said now that her kids are older, she wasn't sure what type of gifts to fill their baskets with.
The grandparents were also wondering what kind of baskets to get her kids. HOLD ON A SECOND. Easter baskets filled with gifts is a thing? I literally had no idea. I'd been doing the mom thing for 8 years and I never knew this was a thing. Easter egg hunts, sure, we do that, but I was supposed to be buying little gifts to fill up baskets for my children in addition to signing them up for Easter egg hunts? Had I been depriving my children for all these years? Am I a terrible mother?
You see, I grew up as the child of immigrants from Taiwan. My parents worked hard to provide for us but were largely in the dark when it came to most American holiday traditions. We never had stockings filled with little gifts at Christmas, never heard about Advent calendars, and certainly never had pre-filled Easter baskets! But we had a loving home and our own traditions (red envelopes at Chinese New Year's was always a favorite). So, I've decided it's ok if my kids never get to experience the pre-filled baskets; they are seriously spoiled enough as is. (and please, if you know my kids, don't tell them about the baskets! They don't need to feel any FOMO)
As a fundraiser/communicator for Water@Work, one of my jobs is to uncover stories and tell them to a broad audience. During this particular fundraising season, I keep picturing Carla and her two brothers. They live in a little dusty village called Mella that I visited a few years ago. Their parents are so poor that they can't even afford basic necessities and rely on the water plant to provide them with free water. When the water plant opened in Mella four years ago, the town mayor said it was the happiest day. Even better than when their first school opened! It provided new hope for them-- hope for healthier lives.
Is Carla hoping for an Easter basket filled with toys and candy this weekend? I doubt she even knows that's a thing. My guess is that Carla is hoping that she will have food and water tomorrow and time to play with her brothers. Her mother probably isn't scrolling through Facebook comparing herself to other moms, either. She's probably hoping that Mella's water plant will continue to operate and that more donors like you will step in to fill the gap.
Traveling to developing countries and working for an international nonprofit has opened my eyes tremendously. It has changed the way I parent (though I still give my kids plenty of candy) and prioritize. This Easter, instead of scrambling around to find the best gifts to stuff in my children's Easter baskets, I'm just going to do a simple egg hunt in the backyard and have fun hanging out with my already-very-spoiled children. In these last few days leading up to Easter, I'm focusing my energy on raising funds so that we can continue providing water to Carla and so many other children just like her in the Dominican Republic and beyond. Will you join me in giving a different kind of Easter basket this year? I promise you clean water will bless someone more than marshmallow peeps ever will!
PS- All donations will be matched 50% by a generous donor between now and April 5th, so don't delay to have your impact multiplied! Click HERE to give Carla and families like her an extra special Easter.
PPS- If you've already put together a beautiful basket for your children, don't throw it away. You can give your kids their traditional basket AND a "basket of water" to a child in need.