DOVER, Fla. — More than 500 children have a little something extra to be excited about thanks to a special team-up between Catholic Charities and the Easter Bunny. 

What You Need To Know

  • College student Avery Thayer came up with the idea to help make Easter extra special for farm working families

  •  Starting on Ash Wednesday, and going on for 40 days, parishioners from churches in the Diocese of St. Petersburg have been donating

  • In all, people donated enough for more than 500 children to take part in the event

Baskets, the Bunny, and smiles are what you’d typically expect to see at an Easter event for kids. 

However, this one was a little different and the smiles extra big.

The focus of the Easter drive was to spread joy to farm working families.

For Mercedes Baltazar and her children, it means a lot. 

“It’s a very happy moment to come and get these baskets for the kids because they are very happy to get something after that’s been going through with the pandemic, so they are very happy to get these little presents,” she said. 

The families live at the San Jose and San Juan Diego Missions.

For those working in the fields, the pandemic has been difficult.

“These families were affected tremendously, especially for the line of work that they do," said service coordinator Socorro Prisco. "They cannot go home and work from home, they cannot go to work because they work close together."

The idea to give a basket to the 500 children came from local college student Avery Thayer.

“I have a passion to serve," she said. "I have always loved helping the community. At my college we’re taught faith, justice, and service."

The drive started on Ash Wednesday and for 40 days, parishioners from churches in the Diocese of St. Petersburg have been donating.

“This is an amazing idea it’s like bringing happiness to them you know? Giving them hope that there are people that care about the work that they do,” Prisco said.