Friday, December 19, 2014

Santa Claus is Coming to....Twin Hills, Alaska! #TwinHillsSanta

I never heard about Twin Hills, Alaska, until recently. I had no idea that such a place existed in our country.  A place where there are no stores, no jobs (literally), and a population of 75. They have one school and are fortunate to have that. Everyday necessities are rarity.

As part of the Philadelphia Social Media Moms group (PSMM) I've learned many things and have had the opportunity to be involved with all sorts of fun things including the "Twin Hills" initiative.

A member of the group, Colleen, who happens to be a food blogger, had the idea to reach out to other bloggers as well as some of their collective contacts to pull off a fantastic holiday surprise for 21 children who live in this small remote village in Alaska where one can only get in or out by bush plane or a small boat via the rough Nushagak River. 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.

She 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!  

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!

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! 

Many thanks to these people who helped make the #TwinHillsSanta effort so amazing.
Becky Adams, Life with Kaishon
Colleen Kennedy, Souffle Bombay
Debbie Bookstaber, Mamanista
Denise Ruggieri, Mom 4 a Difference
Gina Badalaty, Mom Blog
Heather DiNuzzo, Girl Gone Mom
Heather McCurdy, Real the Kitchen and Beyond
Heather Schugar, Diapered Knights
Jennifer Oxenford, Philly Fun 4 Kids
Katie Pietrak, BusyBee Kate
Larisha Campbell, We’re Parents Blog
Lauryn Blakesley, The Vintage Mom
Lindsay Podolak, The Naughty Mommy
Lindsey Shuster, Sisters to Sons
Natalie Dixon, A Turtles Life For Me
Nicole Quier, One Punky Mama
Pam Margolis, Unconventional Librarian
Rachel Blate, Can’t Google Everything
Sarah Mazzone, Made in USA Challenge
Tomika Bryant, My Mommy’s Neighborhood
Tricia Goodman, The Good Mama
Trina O’Boyle, O’boy Organic

As for me, I am such a book lover than I share books, buy books for others, and read to others whenever I can so naturally I went out and bought 20 books for this group of kids along with snacks (also a priority in my world!) and a few health and beauty aides. I truly enjoy bonding with my son during our daily story times. Hopefully these children will get to enjoy that now as well. 

Here's a pic: 

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!

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!

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