The holidays are a time of joy and happiness for many of us. However, this may not be the case for everyone. Unfortunately, many children will be spending this holiday season in a hospital. In the spirit of the season, we wanted to spread some holiday cheer to those who need it the most: we’re excited to announce the return of Holiday Hugs this year!
What is Holiday Hugs?
Students and educators are encouraged to create a fun and interactive holiday ecard or “Holiday Hug” for children spending the holidays in a hospital. These Buncees are filled with warm holiday wishes, jokes, messages, and interactive fun! Everyone can then add their Buncees to the Holiday Hugs Buncee Board, and then all the Buncees are shared with the children. This year, all the Buncees will be shared with Children’s Minnesota, a non-profit system of children’s hospitals!
This year, we’re honored to be able to take things to the next level: Capstone has pledged that for every five Buncees added to the Board, they will donate one book to Children’s Minnesota, for up to 500 books!
Our goal this year is to reach 1000 Holiday Hug Buncees! We want to achieve this, not only because the Buncees will surely bring a smile to the children’s faces, but also because the more Buncees added to the Board, the more books will be donated to Children’s Minnesota!
How did Holiday Hugs start?
Holiday Hugs began with an idea from Buncee Ambassador Amy Storer, and we’re so grateful that Amy is helping to continue this project! Read what she had to say about what inspired this project and how she came up with this idea:
The idea for Holiday Hugs was inspired by my mother, Micheal Drezek’s Mile of Smiles and Marie Arturi, the founder of Buncee. Between the years of 2005 and 2006, I spent many days at MD Anderson with my mother while she was undergoing surgery and receiving treatment for stage 4 Ovarian Cancer. During my time there, I met some wonderful patients, some as young as 4 years old, making the best of a very difficult and scary situation. I didn’t know then that the last Christmas I would spend with my mother would be in 2005. The holidays were my mother’s favorite time of the year, and she truly made it magical. The moment that we lost her, we knew that every day after would be for her and because of her. We also realized the importance of continuing the tradition of making holiday magic with those around us. This is where the inspiration for Holiday Hugs began! So lucky to get to do this with Buncee, Kristina, Barbie, and now Capstone!
We’re also so honored to have the support of Buncee Ambassador Barbie Monty, who has helped organize our past Hugs for Heroes project, where students were encouraged to create Hero Hug Buncees for our essential workers during the pandemic. Read what she has to say about her experience:
Inspired by one of our very first Zoom Morning Meeting discussions when we were just beginning distance learning due to the pandemic in March of 2020, my fifth grade students were inspired to create Buncees to encourage the men and women working tirelessly on the front lines of the Coronavirus. This meant so much to me that they recognized the sacrifices these brave men and women were making and they were moved to show their appreciation. Creating a Buncee Board filled with encouraging Buncees to share with these brave men and women throughout our country and around the world was the perfect way to show our appreciation. It was a huge honor and privilege to have been invited to be a part of the Buncee “Hugs for Heroes” Project with Kristina and Amy. I am excited to have another opportunity to use Buncee with my students to touch more lives during the holiday season this year with Buncee’s Holiday Hugs initiative.
We’re also thrilled to have Buncee Ambassador Kristina Holzweiss working with us to make this project a reality. Kristina has done amazing work with Barbie and Amy on our Hugs for Heroes project. Read what she has to say about this initiative:
The holiday season is a wonderful time to be grateful for our blessings as we spend quality time with family and friends. Our experiences during this pandemic have made us realize how important our relationships with others are, and to remember those we have lost. Our memories are our most precious gifts. Each year as we set the table and gather around our Christmas tree, a sense of loss is always felt even when we laugh and smile. My sister Laryssa was killed in a car accident a block away from school on January 18, 2005. Who would have thought that less than a month after Christmas, that we would lose her? I have learned that when we support others it helps our own healing.
This year I am thankful to be a part of this Holiday Hugs initiative with Amy and Barbie, sponsored by Buncee and Capstone. I can’t think of a better way to spread some holiday cheer while putting books into the hands of young children, with this team. With each Buncee your students will be happy to know that they are making a difference for another child.
How can I get involved in Holiday Hugs?
- Create your own Holiday Hug Buncee
- Add your Buncee to the official Holiday Hugs Buncee Board
- Be sure to submit your Buncee’s before the official cut off date, December 15th
We hope that you will join us this holiday season and share your Holiday Hug Buncee, and spread some of the magic that the holidays bring each year!