Group wants to make this Christmas the best ever


Hastings: You can help!

By John McLoone

A local Hastings group wants to help a family here have the Best Christmas Ever.

Nominations can be made to help a family in need celebrate in a big way on the big day.

Local organizer Jessica Kohner said she got involved when her day care families helped a Prescott Best Christmas Ever team raise funds for a family they were supporting.

“We got to go with for the dropoff, and my daughter cried. It was so moving,” said Kohner. “We decided to do it ourselves last year.”

The Best Christmas Ever program started 12 years ago, and there are 75 affiliated teams in Minnesota, Wisconsin and throughout the U.S. now.

“It started with one individual who had cancer. The community rallied around him and surprised him on Christmas,” said Kohner. “He’s the founder of Best Christmas Ever. He started it after that experience.”

In Best Christmas Ever, funds are raised yearround. Captains pick recipient families, and $5,000 worth of gifts are given to members of those families. Last year, the Hastings group raised $7,000, and Kohner is hoping to get to the point where two families are gifted.

“We hope to get more nominations also,” she said.

Each family member is given 10 gifts.

“It’s a mix between wants and needs,” she said, “and it includes mom and dad.”

Last year’s recipient found out she had leukemia while she was pregnant. In addition to other gifts were baby needs like car seats. “And momma got a spa day,” said Kohner.

Kohner said the need to help the families is real here in Hastings and in every community.

“There’s so much need. It broke my heart last year because we had to pick our one family. I’m working to get the word out,” she said.

To raise money locally, the group had a garage sale in the spring, with 20 families donating items to sell. That raised $2,000 and TMobile matched that with $2,000. They work with local businesses also for donations.

To nominate a family, visit the Best Christmas Ever website at Donations to the group can also be made online at the website.

For more information on the Hastings team, contact Kohner at (507) 4910414 or by email at [email protected]

“It is super exciting to be involved in this. It’s so much fun. We’re trying to push the true meaning of Christmas,” said Kohner.

September 14, 2022