COVID-19 cancels egg hunt, so deputies bring Easter to kids’ front doors

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Deputy Brian Rooney, right, Jaime Briano, left, and Darwin Lorenzo sort through the 50 Easter baskets prepared for Youth Activity League children in Val Verde on Thursday, April 09, 202. Dan Watson/The Signal
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The novel coronavirus outbreak has upended everyday life, including Easter celebrations. But deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Foundation’s Youth Activity League still made sure local children had something to celebrate amid the stay-at-home orders. 

On Thursday morning, deputies geared up with gloves and masks and set out, despite the rain, to deliver an estimated 50 Easter baskets to children’s front doors in Val Verde, according to Deputy Brian Rooney.

Jaime Briano, left, and Natalie Ramirez of Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Foundation’s Youth Activity League deliver Easter baskets to children in Val Verde on Thursday, April 09, 202. Dan Watson/The Signal

Usually, the Foundation’s Youth Activity League coordinates an Easter egg hunt for the children at Val Verde park, but due to statewide orders to practice social distancing and stay home in an effort to help prevent the spread of the virus, deputies and volunteers had to get creative this year while practicing safety guidelines.  

“Every year, we do a huge Easter event, usually we get around 300 kids, but because of the quarantine, there’s no Easter (event),” said Rooney. “So this year, we took all the resources we had for that event and made Easter baskets and we’re going to take them to all of our daily attending, regular kids that are part of the youth program.” 

Volunteers also helped prepare an estimated 180 bags containing plastic eggs and candy, which were handed out at a local food distribution point for “the families that may not be part of our program every single day so that they can get something as well with their lunch,” said Rooney. 

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Rooney, right, delivers one of 50 Easter baskets to Albert Rincon, 9, as part of the Youth Activity League’s efforts for children in Val Verde on Thursday, April 09, 202. Dan Watson/The Signal

These are hard times, the deputy said, but the event was still brought forth to help brighten up kids’ days.

“They get a little something for Easter in case their parents don’t have the money to get a basket or do something,” Rooney said. “At least they’ll have something for Easter this year.”

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