This is the time of year when there seems to be a little extra magic in the air. As hectic as it may be, people are ready for a celebration. Kindness and generosity abound, towards people we may know and towards those we may not.
Tis the season, as they say!
Yet for some people, the holiday season is just like any other. My friend Colleen of Souffle Bombay had the idea to reach out to other bloggers as well as some of our collective contacts to pull off a fantastic holiday surprise for children who live in a small remote village in Alaska. Twin Hills has a population of 76. They are Native American Inuits and are one of the lowest income areas in our country. You can only get in or out of Twin Hills by bush plane or a small boat via a rough river. As a result, there are severely limited sources of income in the area.
Here’s how we came up with Twin Hills, Alaska. A friend (Dani) of Colleen’s took a teaching position in the village this year. She didn’t know what to expect when she packed up and moved from Pennsylvania, yet she immediately fell in love with the people, their culture and Alaska.
Dani teaches 16 students ages 4-13, and the village has 5 additional kids under 4. They don’t have much in Twin Hills. As a matter of fact, while discussing Christmas and Santa recently one day in school, one of the younger kids said simply “Santa doesn’t come to Alaska.”
When Colleen mentioned the idea, over 20 bloggers from PA, NJ & DE immediately jumped on board and #TwinHillsSanta began to take off.
For all the kids around the nation who will be gifted an abundance of toys and other items this month, the kids of Twin Hills would be grateful for anything. They just want to feel the spirit of the season.
This year, they will certainly feel the spirit.
Together we reached out to some of our favorite contacts and they too wanted to join in with helping to make Christmas special for the kids of Twin Hills! We are so grateful to these 7 companies who said YES to pay-it-forward in such a big way.
Many, many thanks to my friends at Kind Snacks, who shipped some of their healthy, delicious KIND bars to the kids. It is their mission to “do the kind thing,” and I truly appreciate their generosity.
We also got some incredibly sizable donations from the following companies:
Lee Jeans is sending clothes to the kids, those kids are going to be so excited and well dressed!!
CVS Pharmacy is sending all kinds of personal products from toothbrushes to scrubbies and body washes, & shampoos to chapsticks, candy, small toys and much more!
Nuby USA jumped in to send the younger children sippy cups, infant and toddler toothbrushes & toothpaste, toys and fun feeding plates & utensils!
Tyrrells English Chips (who has the most fun website BTW) sent cases of their crazy delicious chips – those kids are going to be happily crunching away with a new-to-them snack!
Pretzel Crisps sent cases of their crazy-good pretzels – Boy are the kiddos in for a tasty treat! I see new fans just ahead!
Educational Insights was happy to send the kids learning games, reading games, puzzle toys and more. These kids are going to be happy, busy and fine tuning their skills as they play!
DecoArt sent a bunch of craft supplies to the kids who I hear are LOVE making things and crafting any chance they get, they are going to be blown away!
And last but not least, I’d like to thank my friends, Drs. Sherri & Ben Schneider of HatboroDMD.com, who donated tooth brushes and toothpaste for all the kids of Twin Hills!
All of the bloggers involved made sure every kids will get a new pair of pajamas, hats, scarves, gloves and more! The kids will all be getting new games and toys too. We also had several other friends, some bloggers and many not, who heard about our effort and sent additional items to Twin Hills.
When bloggers and brands pay it forward, when people come together in the spirit of giving – amazing things can happen! Many thanks to these people who helped make the #TwinHillsSanta effort so special:
Colleen Kennedy www.SouffleBombay.blogspot.com
Becky Adams www.LifewithKaishon.com
Debbie Bookstaber www.Mamanista.com
Denise Ruggieri www.Mom4aDifference.com
Gina Badalaty www.Mom-Blog.com
Heather DiNuzzo www.GirlGoneMom.com
Heather McCurdy www.RealtheKitchenandBeyond.com
Heather Schugar www.DiaperedKnights.com
Jennifer Oxenford www.PhillyFun4Kids.com
Jo-Lynne Shane www.JoLynneShane.com
Katie Pietrak www.BusyBeeKate.com
Larisha Campbell www.WereParentsBlog.com
Lauryn Blakesley www.TheVintageMom.com
Lindsay Podolak www.TheNaughtyMommy.com
Lindsey Shuster www.SisterstoSons.com
Natalie Dixon www.ATurtlesLifeForMe.com
Nicole Quier www.OnePunkyMama.com
Pam Margolis www.UnconventionalLibrarian.com
Rachel Blate www.CantGoogleEverything.com
Sarah Mazzone www.MadeinUSAChallenge.com
Tomika Bryant www.MyMommysNeighborhood.com
Tricia Goodman www.TheGoodMama.org
Trina O/Boyle www.OBoyOrganic.com
And thank you again to Lee Jeans, CVS Pharmacy, Nuby USA, Tyrrells English Crisps, Pretzel Crisps, Educational Insights, Kind Snacks and DecoArt for making this a very special Christmas for the children of Twin Hills, Alaska! We are forever grateful for your generosity.