KENT COUNTY, Mich. — A special holiday project that snowballed into an effort to help dozens of families in West Michigan is making a comeback in 2021.
Emilyanne Kellogg and a good friend started the project in 2020 with the goal of helping just one family. But after putting the idea out on social media, they quickly realized many more families were in need of help for the holidays.
"Last year, we did it in 12 days, the 12 days before Christmas. Very short, and it was a sprint. And so that's why it's called the '12 Days of Christmas,’" Kellogg explained. "It just didn't feel like we could go another Christmas season without doing it again because last year the impact was just so amazing."
Kellogg and other volunteers were able to help 43 families altogether in 2020.
This year, she's bringing the project back on a slightly smaller scale.
"We thought, maybe 10-12 families," she said. "But, I have a list of over 30. And we did nominations, and it's going great. The community is supporting, sponsoring families, which means they shop for them. And we've got monetary donations that we've been able to use as well."
Kellogg said they are still in need of sponsors for around six families.
The hope is to be able to deliver all the gifts next week, and make the season bright for families who may be struggling.
"We still have more families to take care of, and I'm hoping and praying and knowing that it'll all work out," she said.
For Kellogg, being able to spread some Christmas joy again will be one of the best gifts she will receive.
"[Last year] was just very rewarding. And, just feels that when you're making an impact, and you're changing people's lives, and you're blessing others. I mean, that's the best way to live," she told FOX 17 News. "You know, for me, what better way to bring the community together to show love, to spread joy and to give. That's the Christmas spirit to me."
To learn more, or help with the 12 Days of Christmas, visit the group on Facebook here.