The holidays are approaching, and while many families get to enjoy gifts and a nice meal, for those who are struggling the holidays can bring dread, grief, and anxiety.
Enter the Best Christmas Ever program, which strives to serve families who have fallen upon tough times, through no fault of their own. Last year, Dana and Jake Schaefer of Henderson were selected as a recipient, and Dana recently shared how seeing all of the love and care her family was shown made her realize the community had not forgotten her son, Brogan.
The Schaefers were selected by Jodi Boisjolie, who herself was a BCE recipient the previous year. Sadly, Boisjolie lost her battle with cancer earlier this year, and her friend, Rachel Lueth of Arlington, has taken it upon herself to captain a team in Boisjolie’s memory.
An area family has been selected this year, and Lueth and her team of volunteers still need a strong push to reach the finish line.
Due to the nature of Best Christmas Ever, the identity of the family is being kept a secret until the gift drop occurs just before the holiday, but Lueth shared how the family has school age children and a parent undergoing aggressive cancer treatment.
What does it take to pull off the Best Christmas Ever to help a family? The answer is close to $10,000. Half of that money goes to the family as a “life changing” gift based on their need. If the family is in need of a vehicle, they might be gifted a used car. If they are facing mounting medical debt, the money might be used to pay down some of that debt. The rest of the money raised is used to purchase gifts for every member of the family.
Right now, Lueth’s team has raised $1,200 toward their $5,000 “life-changing” goal and has 15 of the 40 presents going to the family.
“Best Christmas Ever gives me the ability to do nice things for people I would not have been able to do otherwise,” Lueth said.
Lueth has a couple of fundraisers coming up this week to hopefully give her team a boost and push them toward their goal.
Wrapping presents can be a chore that can eat up a lot of time. If you would like to save yourself the hassle and keep your tinsel from tangling, consider letting Lueth and her BCE helpers assist.
Lueth and her helpers will be hosting a gift wrapping fundraiser at Carrie Laabs’s home at 306 N. 5th St. in Henderson on Saturday, Dec. 12. Prices are $3 for a small box (graham cracker box size), $4 for a medium box (shoe and clothing box size), and $5 for large boxes. They also have a buy two, get one half-off special for boxes of equal or lesser value.
Anyone who would like to take advantage of this wrapping fundraiser can drop presents off at the Gaylord Farm Bureau office or at Lueth’s Arlington home. Contact her at 612-251-5913 for more information or to schedule an appointment to drop off gifts. Presents can also be dropped off at 306 N. 5th St. in Henderson starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Want to give back by directly purchasing a gift for the family? Lueth also has a giving tree up at the Gaylord Farm Bureau office, 335 Main Ave, Gaylord. The tree is covered with tags of gift ideas.
Unwrapped gifts need to be purchased and delivered to the Gaylord Farm Bureau by Friday, Dec. 18, at 4 p.m.
If making the drive to Gaylord is not possible, Lueth said people can also contact her if they wish to sponsor a present or make a donation.
SHIRTS FOR A CAUSE
Lueth also has shirts for sale, and a portion of the proceeds will go to support the family. The shirts say “#BeTheOne You Want To Chase” with feathers above and below the wording. Shirts are available as a T-shirt, long sleeve, or hoodie, and in a variety of colors, including black, white, blue, maroon, olive, brown, and teal (colors vary based on style).
Shirts can be purchased at https://www.bonfire.com/store/best-christmas-ever/
Anyone who would like to donate directly to Lueth’s team can do so at https://bcemovement.kindful.com/bce2020/be-the-one-you-want-to-chase.