IRVINE, Calif.  – The COVID-19 crisis has turned essentials into commodities.

Autumn Strier sees this trend firsthand. She’s the CEO of Miracles for Kids in Irvine, a West Coast nonprofit that provides financial aid, subsidized housing, food and basic needs to low-income families with critically-ill children.

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“Imagine being a family that’s living at $22,000 a year or below. You have two or three kids at home, no one has a job because almost half of our families have already lost their jobs. And you have a child who’s sick,” Strier said.

She and her team are putting together their Spring Basket Drive, baskets filled with essentials that have become exceedingly hard to find. But the coronavirus has forced them to do the drive remotely, with families around SoCal picking up or having one of the 300+ baskets delivered.

“We’ve pivoted. So instead of providing Easter bunnies and chocolates and fun family games, what we’re really focusing right now is on face masks, hand sanitizers, gift cards,” said Strier.

Families like 3-year-old Jayden Gomez’s are already compromised.

He was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia at just 16 months old. And after going into remission eight months later, he relapsed last August. These families are facing these challenges at or below the poverty line. His father is picking up a basket to take back to the hospital, where he received a bone marrow transplant from his teenage sister Daniela...

The coronavirus has put 20 percent of these families at-risk of eviction, many of them already living paycheck to paycheck. And with a critically-ill child, the unimaginable is their everyday life. And with supplies running low everywhere, Strier and her team are hoping that these essentials can help families focus on saving their children’s lives.

“If you think about families next door to you, health is the great equalizer. Any family you see down the street could have a child battling a life-threatening illness. So if you’re looking for an item for yourself, it’s likely that we need that item for our families as well,” Strier said

Because a child’s future is an essential to every parent.

To see a full list of needed items or to send a virtual message of encouragement visit