Let's show the world what #FreebsNation is capable of by donating $100,000 + 5,000 hours of service to those in need! Here's how you can help!

Jordan holding a gift in her hands, from Fun Cheap or Free

If there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's that FREEBS. ARE. POWERFUL. Period. When our community sees a need, you jump into action with reckless, wholehearted abandon.

Our annual Freebs Secret Santa project proves just that.

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:


SECRET SANTA 2021—HOW IT WORKS:

Help us reach our goal to give $100,000 + 5,000 hours to those in need + spread holiday cheer! Here's how:

STEP 1: Choose how you want to contribute!

Sit down with your family and come up with a way (or make a list of several ways!) to donate to others this year.

  • Know a family in need? Be their Secret Santa!
  • Donate to your favorite charity!
  • Give $1 to someone on the street!
  • Pay for the car behind you in the drive-through line!
  • Give $5 to the next person you see!
  • Buy a $1 churro for someone in Costco!
  • Venmo $3 to the first person you see in your Venmo feed!
  • Go to GoFundMe.com and choose one at random to donate to!
  • Donate your TIME! Time is as valuable as money! See below for many ideas, then drop your hours into our TIME thermometer!

Don’t feel like your gift is significant enough? Donating $1-$5 to a charity might seem insignificant, but when you have an amazing community like Freebs Nation, that $1 or $5 donation adds up FAST! (As we've seen every year.)

Not sure what to do? Keep reading for more details and ideas below.

STEP 2: Come back to THIS post and share your experience.

Fill out this form and tell us how you donated, served, and lifted within your sphere of influence! We can't wait to hear how it impacts your Christmas this year. Submit your dollars donated into our “DONATIONS” thermometer, and your time donated into our “TIME” thermometer! We'll be accepting submissions until January 1st.

MONEY DONATIONS IN DOLLARS

Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/donation-thermometer/.$100,000Raised $207,970 towards the $100,000 target.$207,970Raised $207,970 towards the $100,000 target.208%

TIME DONATIONS IN HOURS

Created using the Donation Thermometer plugin https://wordpress.org/plugins/donation-thermometer/.5,000 hoursRaised 6,963 hours towards the 5,000 hours target.6,963 hoursRaised 6,963 hours towards the 5,000 hours target.139%

STEP 3: Follow on social!

Our hope is that you will share your stories with us and with our community and engage with others who are sharing their experiences and catch a bit of that Christmas spirit! We can't wait to see what YOU do! Check out the #FreebsSecretSanta to see more stories of Freebs in action. Thank you for participating!


HELP US REACH OUR $100,000 + 5,000 HOURS GOAL FOR 2021!

This year we're doing it differently!

Remember our $100,000,000.00 (yes, that says one hundred MILLION) debt challenge for 2020? We set a goal for our community to pay off $100m in debt…and you CRUSHED IT! We are following that same model this year for our secret santa project!

We are asking YOU (yes, you reading this!) to donate time and/or money to someone in need, or to spread holiday cheer. It could be $1 to someone on the street. It could be $50 to your favorite nonprofit. It could be buying $15 worth of groceries for the person next to you in line. It could be singing Christmas carols on the street.

Big or small, we want you to make a donation of time or money of ANY size, and drop it in our community thermometers above! Our goal is for our Freebs community to donate $100,000 and 5,000 hours by Jan 1, to show the world what Freebs Nation can do! Keep reading to see why we are doing things differently, as well as tons of ideas for donating…PLUS stories from families we've donated to in the past.


Hutch chose to pay for groceries anonymously for an older gentlemen. Made his whole day!

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 in order to continue moving forward at 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 reach MORE people and do MORE good than ever before!

Little girl holding present in front of tree, from Fun Cheap or Free

WAYS YOU CAN SPREAD CHRISTMAS CHEER:

Need some ideas? Here are just a few 😉 Check out JustServe.org for local service ideas.

  • Take snacks and drinks to the fire station and other first responders!
  • Donate money, food, or time to a food bank.
  • Get ten $1 bills and hand a dollar to the next ten people you see on the street.
  • Find a single mother and buy her a gift. If you have enough, give her some cash so she can buy for her kids as well!
  • Call your local animal shelter and ask what they need and take it to them.
  • Leave gifts and notes for your neighbors.
  • Buy groceries for someone in the store. Do it anonymously if you can!
  • Supply a gift or two for local foster kids.
  • Donate to your favorite charity.
  • Volunteer or donate at your church or place of worship.
  • Donate blood. There’s a HUGE shortage!
  • Pay for the person behind you in the drive thru line.

This year Bubba and I are donating $3,100 of our personal money. Every day for 31 days we are going to donate $100. Sometimes it will be leaving a $100 tip at a table, or giving someone a $100 bill in a grocery store, or it will be donating $100 to an online charity. It will be a challenge, but one I'm so excited about!

There are so many ways to serve! Whatever you do to serve and spread Christmas cheer, calculate the total cost of your donation AND time and add it to our thermometers. Let's see if we can reach our goal as a community!

PLACES TO DONATE:

Check out GuideStar for a directory of charities and nonprofit organizations that you can donate to this season! here are few charities that spread Christmas cheer you might want to check out!

  • Angel Tree
  • Family Giving Tree
  • Toys for Tots
  • The Wish Project
  • GoFundMe – go to the website and find a cause that speaks to you!

But there are so many other causes that are worth donating to!


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 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

Hands making a heart in the sky, from Fun Cheap or Free

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 the extra love and support during the holidays.

In 2019, this community really 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 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

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 camp fires.
  • 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).
Jordan with friends, from Fun Cheap or Free
  • Families that had recently lost children and families who 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.
Jordan with Secret Santa family, from Fun Cheap or Free
  • 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 was living in a small apartment across the country, in order to give their sweet baby a fighting chance at life. Good news? Julian is doing INCREDIBLE.
Secret Santa babies, from Fun Cheap or Free

We were so touched from 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.

Jordan holding a gift with words "Join us as we pay it forward this Christmas" from Fun Cheap or Free

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!