Phoenix Rescue Mission hands out hundreds of Easter baskets to families in need

With COVID-19 impacting every part of Arizonan's lives, the Phoenix Rescue Mission is making sure kids in Arizona have a sense of normalcy on Easter morning on April 12.

Victoria Luevano has been impacted by the pandemic, but is trying to stay positive for her seven kids.

"Work has been slowing down, but we're able to survive," said Luevano. "I just got bad news last night that I have to move out so...nothing's easy right now."

With Easter a week away, Phoenix Rescue Mission wanted to return normalcy to Luevano's family.

They scaled down a yearly massive party to hand out Easter baskets and food to families in need - it was made a drive-thru so everyone stayed safe.

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"What we normally would do, petting zoo, arts and crafts, face painting, families hanging out together - what we're doing instead is making sure basic needs are met," said Nathan Smith from the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

Every basket came with a bag of important food to get families through the worst of it.

"It's critical, we've got to make sure people have what they need to eat," said Smith.

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Smith said the organization handed out 670 Easter baskets to 300 families on April 4.

"I'm seeing a lot of just thankfulness," said Smith. "It's hard to have a sense of normalcy because there's so much uncertainty right now, so just to see that people care I think is important right now."

For Victoria Luezano, that gift of wrapped chocolate alongside meals means everything when things are only getting tougher by the day.

"I think it's real important for me - it's exciting, but for them, it's their childhood," said Luezano. "They're going to be able, you know, spend Easter with me at home, [and] have something for us, so I mean they're excited."