Let's show the world what #FreebsNation is capable of by donating $100,000 to an amazing charity, nominate your choice below! Let's make this our BEST Secret Santa season yet!
If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that FREEBS. ARE. POWERFUL. Period. You jump into action with reckless, wholehearted abandon when our community sees a need.
Our annual Freebs Secret Santa project proves just that.
WHAT WE ARE DOING THIS YEAR:
We are changing things up (more on why below) and picking ONE organization to spoil rotten. We need your help though, please use the google form below and nominate a nonprofit, Gofundme, school, or really great cause, of your choice, don’t wait though we are only taking submissions through 11/30!
NOMINATE YOUR CHOICES HERE!
Then starting Dec 1st-3rd you can Venmo or Paypal us anything you can give (Freebs nation is over 1 million strong, so even a dollar goes really far!). Once donations close we will add it all up and donate to the chosen organization on 12/9. The goal is to donate $100,000 to the chosen charity. Don’t worry we will keep you updated during those 72 hours with how much we have raised. THIS IS GOING TO BE SO GOOD!!!!
HOW IT ALL BEGAN:
What started on accident in 2016 (no, really! Keep reading!) has snowballed and grown into one of the largest private annual fundraising efforts the internet has ever seen! For years we have accepted nominations (from you!) for those in need, then gathered hundreds of thousands of dollars of donations (from you!), that we individually distribute to hundreds of families each Christmas. It has been one of the most humbling, exciting, awe-inspiring things I've ever been a part of, and somehow, each year has surpassed the last in greatness.
This year, our goal is for our Freebs Secret Santa project to be the biggest and best we've ever seen. BUT…we are doing things very differently. Here's why:
WHY WE'RE SWITCHING THINGS UP:
Over the years, our Secret Santa project has grown to epic proportions. We are a small company, with a small team. And yet, so much money comes pouring in from donations each year, that we are at the point where we would need to officially register as a 501C3 nonprofit organization to continue moving forward with the growth we've been seeing. That sounded like a simple task last year, as this fact was presented to us. And yet, one year later, we realize how extremely complicated this really is. We need much more time to figure out if/how to make that happen.
Not to mention, there were so many nominations (thousands each year), that even spending 60 seconds reading through each one takes us over 33 hours…just to read the nominations! (And trust me, we spend a lot more than 60 seconds on each one – they are all so precious to us). Plus gathering the donations, plus contacting the families, plus donating the money…I now see why large nonprofit organizations have a huge staff to handle it all! We also had trouble donating to people in other countries. We absolutely HATE excluding someone, simply because they don't live in America!
In short—it's grown bigger and more beautiful than we ever expected, and as a result, we feel that this pivot will allow our Freebs Nation community to bless an organization that is doing amazing things in the world, therefore reaching more people than ever before!
WHY SECRET SANTA? HOW DID IT START?
In the last several years, my businesses have been blessed. Feeling overwhelmed with gratitude, in 2016 I decided to take the income that ads bring to my site and give it back to some special Freebs in need to help pay for their Christmas.
Not knowing where to start, I turned to you Freebs for nominations and suggestions. Hundreds of nominations poured in within hours, and as I read every one, I was overwhelmed. Blown away. Broken-hearted. Strengthened. (All the feels, basically.) My heart swelled in joy over you good Freebs who took the time to share such stories with me, but also so sad for those who were going through such hard things.
I sponsored three different families and gave them each $500 to help pay for their Christmas. I am still in contact with these sweet families; they have touched my heart to the core. I feel a special bond and connection with them that will (for lack of a less cheesy term…) stay with me forever.
But then, something amazing happened…
FREEBS MAKING MIRACLES HAPPEN
Wouldn't you know… in 2016, you Freebs were also touched by the stories I shared! Donations, none of which I even asked for, poured in and we were able to help 14 MORE families with your additional donations! I can't describe the feeling of going to my PayPal account and seeing so many hundreds of dollars, generously donated.
In 2017, we wanted to give back even more and were able to personally pay for Christmas for five families and you, amazing Freebs, opened your hearts and donated enough to make it possible to give 18 MORE families a beautiful Christmas.
In 2018, we once again personally paid for five family Christmases, and you wonderful Freebs helped us to provide for 28 MORE family donations, meaning we were able to help over 30 families who needed extra love and support during the holidays.
In 2019, this community opened our eyes to what we are capable of! We again provided Christmas for five families and you helped us provide 166 MORE families donations for Christmas. Yes, you read that right! We were able to help 171 families during a time of need.
We thought 2020 might be different because of everything that was going on in the world around us, however, it was the most mind-blowing year so far as we once again invited you to join in our efforts to give back at Christmas time. This Secret Santa tradition we've created humbled us beyond words and we were so excited to pay for five families' Christmas gifts, dinner, and traditions, once again! The Freebs community completely BLEW. US. AWAY. With our donations combined, we were able to help 224 families last Christmas.
THANK YOU! We could NOT do this without you!
YOUR NOMINATIONS AND DONATIONS MATTER
In the last few years, your donations have sponsored so many incredible families' Christmases.
Together, we've helped…
- A family that lost their home in the California campfires.
- Another family had just lost their young husband and father to a tragic heart attack.
- A mother of quintuplets whose husband was deployed (I finally got to meet her, and the sister who nominated her, at Pinners conference).
- Families that had recently lost children and families that had very sick kids in the hospital.
- A mom and her kids that had just fled a domestic abuse situation.
- One year, I was able to pay for Christmas for a young family whose gorgeous mom, Jordin, was terminally ill with cancer. It was her last Christmas and we miss her dearly.
- A pregnant widow.
- Single moms trying to get by while working multiple jobs.
- We were able to help a family of 7 who had been completely uprooted, left their comfortable home, and were living in a small apartment across the country, to give their sweet baby a fighting chance at life. Good news? Julian is doing INCREDIBLE.
We were so touched by all of the stories in 2019 that we have a whole post from our amazing recipients who wanted to say thank you to everyone who donated. You can really make a difference in a stranger's life with just a few dollars in donations. It feels good to help someone out with no strings attached!
This is real life, you guys! I can't begin to tell you the lives we can change.
Thank you in advance for your generosity and love. I can't wait to warm some hearts with you by my side. There is so much good to do.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, FREEBS!