While coronavirus is changing how people celebrate Easter — from park closures to online church services — some folks are determined to keep the holiday spirit alive. Videos of Easter Bunnies spreading cheer ahead of Easter Sunday have been going viral.
Last Saturday, Destini Sandlin, 35, and her husband Michael, 34, brought some holiday spirit to the people of Duluth, Minn. Michael dressed up as the famed Easter mascot and stood outside their home.
“We wanted to spread hope and joy to our community,” Destini Sandlin tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We knew that a lot of people wouldn’t have the opportunity to see the Easter Bunny this year due to everything being closed right now. It was an easy decision for us to set up a display in our yard out of things we had in our house and invite everyone in the city to drive by and enjoy some Easter joy.”
She adds that this was their first time putting on a celebration, but their effort was able to bring Easter joy to the 300-plus people who passed to see their display.
“I knew that it was going to have a decent turnout because I haven’t seen any other Easter events in our area, but I was so happy to see how many people actually showed up. It was a constant flow of vehicles and walkers, which was awesome!” the mother of two says.
According to Sandlin, her family has been in quarantine before it was mandated because their kids, who are 5 and 3, are high-risk. They do their best to keep their children safe while also keeping them busy with fun activities, including having exclusive time with the Easter Bunny.
“They love the Easter Bunny and were so excited!” she says. “After the event, the bunny did bring them some special candy and gave them hugs, which was extra-special for them, since no one else could touch the bunny due to social distancing.”
Sandlin says that she and her husband will be driving around later this week to bring the Easter Bunny to even more people before Sunday.
Jennifer Blair of Haddon Township, N.J., also decided to bring Easter to her town early last Saturday. The mother of five dressed up as the Easter Bunny and rode around town waving at quarantined families. Blair tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the idea of kids not being able to see the Easter Bunny kept her up late one night.
“I thought to myself ‘wait a minute, this is some baby’s first Easter or the first time a toddler recognizes the bunny and it could also be an older child that this may be their last year feeling the Easter Bunny magic,’” she remembers. “For those special moments to be lost due to the pandemic seemed like something I could easily fix. Right then and there I decided to not stop ‘til all of the families in my town of Haddon Township got a visit from the bunny.”
After posting about it on Facebook, Blair sought the help of two mothers, Jennifer DiMarco and Erin Fitzpatrick, who were able to drive her around in their Jeeps. Fitzpatrick’s husband, Colin, also helped with mapping out their route so they made sure they spread some Easter joy to every house in the city.
“We had such a range of reactions. We had little ones in shock that the bunny was in front of their house, babies that hadn’t had a chance to see the Easter Bunny before so they just took it all in,” Blair says.
“We saw adults that were just as excited or sometimes more excited than the kids, we had people on laptops, iPads and phones FaceTiming people who were either quarantined somewhere else due to being a healthcare worker, at work or traveling.”
Despite suffering from a spinal condition and other health concerns, she continued visiting houses for four more days. Blair was approached to make this an annual tradition, but she says she will have to see if her health will allow her to do this again. She still cannot believe that her Easter Bunny stint came to fruition.
“When I started this it was just a small thing in my head. Once we started and I saw the excitement from everybody I realized I did the right thing,” she says.
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