For the past 6 weeks there have been 21 kids constantly on my mind. On my mind while I felt the holiday magic in the air. On my mind as I held the door open for a stranger. On my mind as I went about my daily business as I prepped for our own holiday festivities.
I don’t know these kids. I have never met them and I likely never will. But when my friend Colleen, who happens to be a food blogger, had the idea to reach out to other bloggers (like me) and the brands we work with to pull off a fantastic holiday surprise for these 21 children from a small remote village in Alaska, I knew I was definitely up for the challenge. Over 20 bloggers from PA, NJ & DE jumped on board and #TwinHillsSanta began to take off.
A friend (Dani) of Colleen’s took a position in the village teaching this year, Dani didn’t know what to expect when she packed up and moved from Pennsylvania, however she has already fallen in love with the people, their culture and Alaska. Twin Hills, Alaska can only be accessed by bush plane or a small boat via the rough Nushagak River which makes getting supplies more difficult than our weekly food store runs.
Dani has 16 students ages 4-13 and the village has 5 additional kids under 4. There are no places for the 76 residents to work or shop, so they live simply. They don’t have much. 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.”
Let that sink in for a second….
This year…these kids have one heck of a surprise in-store for them!!
We reached out to some of our contacts and I am so humbled and thrilled to share with you that they hopped right on board! I reached out to my buddies over at Nuby USA and they jumped in immediately to send the younger children sippy cups, infant and toddler toothbrushes & toothpaste, toys and fun feeding plates & utensils! I am a huge Nuby fan myself, so I am excited that these kids will have the opportunity to have some high quality products of their own to use. I hope they like them as much as my Little Guy did at their age:
Lots of other brands helped too!
Lee Jeans sent clothes to the kids, those kids are going to be so excited and well dressed!!
CVS Pharmacy sent all kinds of personal products from toothbrushes to scrubbies and body washes, & shampoos to chapsticks, candy, small toys and much more!
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!
And speaking of snacks, 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!
Kind Snacks shipped some of their healthy AND tasty Kind Bars to the kids, those will get them pumped up and full of energy!
And 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!
How awesome are these 7 companies who said YES to pay-it-forward! When stories like this reach my ears it makes me an even more loyal customer OR it makes me want to try/support a brand I am not familiar with! Thank you all!
All of the bloggers involved made sure every kids will get a new pair of pajamas, hats, scarves, gloves and more! Then additional friends, some bloggers and many not heard what was happening and either grabbed USPS flat rate boxes or hopped on Amazon to send stuff the kids way!
I can’t wait to share more specifics, which I will do in January once I get the intel from Dani as to how it all went. The pilot who flies in and out of Twin Hills with deliveries won’t know what hit him and neither will the post office!
Magic is in the air!! When people come together…great things happen! The following bloggers were part of the magic making:
Heather M. www.RealtheKitchenandBeyond.com
Heather S. www.DiaperedKnights.com
Thank you 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 21 children, who I know are going to be so very grateful!