With the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time for a new project aimed at giving back to be announced. Project Joy Minnesota is a new program in Todd County, with the goal of spreading holiday cheer to families that need it most.

This program is very similar to the Mama Marla's program that ran in the area for 20 years, that raised money through a yearly race. That money would then be used to buy Christmas presents for underprivileged children in the county. Over the years, the Mama Marla's program raised about $70,000 and provided gifts to about 4,000 kids.

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Project Joy Minnesota has lots of similarities with Mama Marla's, but also a couple of differences.

What's the same:

-We are still serving Todd County

-You will still be able to pick up envelopes with the age & gender of a child and some things that are on their list for Christmas at participating churches & businesses.

-You will be able to pick up envelopes the week of Thanksgiving.

-We will contribute some money in the envelope and you will contribute some of your money to buy gifts for the child.

-You are making Christmas super special for children who may not receive any other gifts.

The differences in the program this year are participants being able to get all the siblings in a family to buy for if they would like. Project Joy will also be contributing $25 in addition to the $25 contributed by the participant, making it so there is $50 to spend.

I'm so excited to see this program come to life and help kids and families in Todd County. I was a participant in the Mama Marla's Hike it or Bike it fundraisers throughout the years, and Mama Marla herself if one of the most generous and lovely humans I have ever met. As she steps down and this new generation of organizers moves in to fill the "holiday cheer gap" in the community, I wish them nothing but success. I can't wait to help out with this myself.

Follow along with Project Joy Minnesota online here. 

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