Project Santa is a community driven effort originating in Counting on Change with Sarah Coleman. When Sarah’s own family had some tough times, she remembers feeling completely overwhelmed by the idea of Christmas and how she would make it all come together. She sat there wishing Santa was real. Wishing for someone to just come and take care of it for her for just one year. And right then and there, Sarah vowed that she would do her best, when able, to be a support system for others that found themselves in the same situation.
Basically, what Sarah and her group does is match families that are nominated – or come forward themselves – to people wishing to sponsor. A sponsor would supply a Christmas dinner, some Christmas morning breakfast items, and a couple of gifts for each member of the family (Mom and Dad included) for under the tree. When a match is made, recipients are notified to help ease the holiday stress they have been feeling.
The sponsors receive a wish list as well as a catalog of interests from the recipients and they use that when making purchases. Deliveries start the week leading up to Christmas all the way to Dec 23rd.
Sarah says the real stars of the show are the many sponsors who come forward every year to help support Project Santa because they work hard all year to be able to share with other families in our community and then dedicate weeks of their time to assist families in need of some holiday magic. She also wants people to know that most people who are sponsored, go on to sponsor other individuals and families in the upcoming years – so it really is a pay it forward project!
They also have many community members who contribute financially and help out with the teen packages that contain hygiene packs, gift cards, socks, gloves, hats, and more. This year they had an extra special donation item that they raffled off. Brady and Bryce Mailhot from Mailhot Carpentry created a beautiful live edge and epoxy table that raised $2350 in a raffle. The lucky winner was Kelly Vanderwyst, but really, everyone is a winner for supporting a great cause! Here’s to these kind young men helping out in their community !
This year Project Santa sponsored 36 families/individuals to put the magic back into their holiday. They also created 27 teen packs as well as 18 grocery card gift packs for some of the families.
Thanks to everyone that donated their time and resources to help make this happen! And here’s a final note from Sarah:
“Our community is amazing. I think during these heavy times we all need to focus on the good we see around us instead of dwelling so much on the negative.” – Sarah Coleman.