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Foxboro woman garners support from fellow residents, Jaycees to create Easter baskets for those in need
By JURI LOVE For The Sun Chronicle
April 16, 2020
FOXBORO — With the aid of a local civic group and community members, a Foxboro woman was able to create Easter baskets for 20 families who were grateful for the cheer at a time when many have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus.
Amy LaBrache, a lifelong Foxboro resident, sensed the urgency of those needs and decided to reach out to families who might need help as well as those who would be willing to contribute.
She posted an appeal on Facebook.
“It took off from there because one person posted to help and so many followed. It was a community effort,” said LaBrache, who with her husband Patrick has three children, Brendan, 20, Nathan, 18, and Sarah, 8.
Her daughter, who is a student at Igo Elementary School, helped to assemble all of the baskets with her mother.
Sarah said she pitched in ”because I like to see other people happy.”
Many people that LaBrache didn’t even know sent her donations via Venmo and dropped items at her house. She said one woman, in particular, offered to meet her at Target to do the necessary shopping.
“We did the bulk of the shopping together. It was so nice to meet a new person and work together to find items for each child. Another woman who owns a basket company donated all of the baskets and lots of items for the baskets,” LaBrache said.
The Foxboro Jaycees heard about her mission and donated gift cards to Stop and Shop for each family.
LaBrache said she asked about the children’s likes and tried to tailor the baskets to their ages.
“I think that in times like these it’s really important to support one another as a community. So many people are losing their jobs and are stuck on how they were going to provide baskets for their kids,” she said. “It provides some normalcy in such a confusing and stressful time. Some of these baskets were for people who are working on the front lines. What better way to thank them?” LaBrache said. “This was my first time venturing out with a project like this. But honestly, this was a community effort.”
She said she delivered a basket to one family, but most were picked up at her house.
One parent who asked to remain anonymous said she felt an enormous weight lifted off her shoulders when she saw the prepared Easter baskets for her girls.
She decided to reach out to LaBrache when she saw a post on Foxboro Discussion Facebook page because she was recently laid off from her job and she really can’t afford to do much until the economy opens up again.
“I was embarrassed, to be honest, but Amy made me feel better about asking for help and the baskets were a hit. Amy saved our Easter as I would not have been able to do much, if at all, for this holiday,” the mother said.
“My family and I are extremely grateful for the town of Foxboro and its generous residents like Amy. During these crazy times, community solidarity is very much needed. Many families, like mine, are under extreme stress due to how the coronavirus has disrupted our lives, including job loss and separation from families.”
She said LaBrache wanted nothing in exchange except to pay it forward.
“I would like to thank her and the many neighbors who made donations and provided many baskets to Foxboro children,” the woman said.
Jeanne Suttie, president of the Foxboro Jaycees, said the group decided to give to LaBrache’s project as a way to help the community during these unprecedented circumstances. LaBrache is vice president of membership of the Jaycees.
Since the group’s annual Easter egg hunt was canceled due to restrictions on gatherings caused by the coronavirus, the Jaycees donated the funds that are usually spent on the event to the Easter basket project.
“The Jaycees are all about helping others, we are the people who need to do something helpful. See a need, fill a need. That is what makes us tick,” said Suttie, adding that the project was personally important, especially in these times.
When Suttie was a child, her parents lost their jobs at the same time and was a very difficult time in their lives. She remembers her parents were very stressed.
“My family survived that time because both of my grandmothers helped where they could, groceries, shoes, clothes, etc., and because of the kindness of my parent’s friends, most of whom were Jaycees,” Suttie said
“This project brought the community together in a time of need to help provide for the children and families in need within our community. All I can say is keep it up Foxboro. This is not over yet, we are all in this together.”
LaBrache agreed. “I cannot thank the donors enough. All the donors are the reason that I was able to fulfill every request. This is truly what Foxboro does best. Taking care of our village. I hope that this made recipients’ holiday a little less stressful and fun for their children.”