With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, families along the North Shore are turning their attention to Christmas decorations and shopping lists. Some are even thinking about how to make the season a little brighter for those less fortunate.
This year, a group of Silver Bay residents is raising money and collecting donations for a local family in need as part of the Best Christmas Ever (BCE) movement.
BCE started in 2011 to help give a couple of Minnesota families in need a Christmas celebration they otherwise couldn't afford. The goal is to raise $5,000 in gifts and support for each family with the hope of making a lasting impact on their lives.
Typically, families have no idea what is coming until they see carloads of gifts pull up at their house.
"Part of what makes Best Christmas Ever so special is that it isn't just about needs," Silver Bay resident and BCE captain Katie Robinson said. It's about fulfilling things that they would never ask for themselves."
Since the movement was introduced six years ago, has nearly doubled the number of families it supports annually. This year, BCE plans to provide support 100 families throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Robinson first became familiar with BCE when her company, Real Living Messina in Duluth, sponsored a family three years ago.
"The first family that we selected as a company was a single mom with a daughter who had lost everything in a fire," Robinson said. "She had three jobs, she volunteered, took care of her grandmother and was a great mom. We were able to raise $17,000 to purchase her car insurance for a year, a Barbie Dream House for her daughter, replaced some of their clothing and bought new tires. When we walked in, the grandmother who nominated her daughter read her nomination letter to her daughter and there wasn't a dry eye in the house."
Robinson said BCE has received a couple of nominations for families in Silver Bay. While her company sponsored a Duluth family, she and a group of friends banded together to sponsor one of the Silver Bay families.
Robinson wouldn't reveal the identity of the family; however, there are young children and at least two members of the family with serious health concerns that have caused mounting medical bills.
"We want lots of toys, lots of laughter and lots of smiles," she said. "We want to help give them a joyful Christmas and help out with the medical bills."
Robinson said they have a goal of $15,000 to raise for the family and and checks can be mailed to or dropped off at the Silver Bay branch of Real Living Messina & Associates, Inc., 607 First Ave., Two Harbors, MN 55616. Toys and other new, unwrapped gifts can also be dropped off at the Messina office.
Robinson said the group will not accept gifts of cash, but gift cards to stores are welcomed. Donate directly to the Silver Bay campaign at bcemovement.kindful.com/best-christmas-ever-2017-2017/silver-bay-minnesota.
For more information or to coordinate a donation pickup, contact Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.