She sometimes asks herself if she’s crazy.
But Vernon mom Crystal Hedlund answers her own question with a resounding nope. Hedlund is doing what she believes she is meant to do in life.
Sharing and caring.
Hedlund, a low-income mother of five kids aged five-to-18, who recently took in her nine-year-old nephew, has launched her individual Sharing is Caring – Christmas 2020 in the Okanagan campaign to raises funds to bless five low-income North Okanagan families at Christmas.
“We would like to be able to provide a Christmas Eve Tradition Starter, stockings, Christmas morning gifts, a full turkey dinner with all of the fixings and, of course, a box full of baked goodies from yours truly,” said Hedlund, who created a Facebook page, Crystal’s Baked Blessings, where she takes orders for her home-baked goods.
Information on her Christmas program can be found at facebook.com/groups/365980721326894/.
Hedlund is accepting donations until Dec. 10, 2020, and is choosing the five families in the meantime. If you have anyone you would like to nominate email: firstname.lastname@example.org and she will happily add them to her list.
The families will be chosen and notified Dec. 15 and the deliveries will be made Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.
“We will accept any and all donations of any kind and we will be sure to gift it to those who need it most,” said Hedlund, who is looking for the following items:
- Stocking Stuffers;
- Gift Cards;
- Family board games;
- Hot chocolate;
- Candy canes;
- Christmas DVDs;
- Jammies of all sizes, onezies, two-piece etc.;
- Gifts for infants, toddlers, children, teens, and adults;
- Baking ingredients (flour, sugar, icing sugar, butter, eggs, yeast, chocolate etc.);
- Stuffing ingredients;
“I can’t thank those of you who have already stepped forward and offered their time as well as the ability to deliver the Christmas gifts and dinners to the chosen families,” said Hedlund. “Also we have set up an account with Chaser’s Bottle Depot here in Vernon and they are accepting empties and putting them towards our funds needed to bless as many families as we possibly can.”
Hedlund says she’s always loved baking for and feeding people. When COVID-19 hit in March, she heard about community resources dwindling for low-income families, seniors and the homeless, which really struck a chord with her.
Hedlund figured if she could raise donations to be able to pay of ingredients, she would bake and bake and feed as many people and families as she possibly could.
“That’s when I started raising money for ingredients to be able to bake delicious goodies for all of these people and distribute to those who need it most,” she said. “At least I knew I was doing my part in helping as many people as I could, and it exploded from there.”
Since March, Hedlund and her family have made and bagged more than 200 lunches on three separate occasions and hand-delivered them to the homeless, as well donating 75 lunches to the food bank along with a monetary donation.
She continues daily delivery of any extra baked goods not spoken far, as well as toothpaste, deodorant, meal replacements and energy bars, and, quite often, Hedlund posts give-aways on a few social media sites for low-income and families.
This past Thanksgiving, Hedlund and her family baked a turkey diner with everything and gave it to a low income senior on disability who didn’t have the ability or the funds to make Thanksgiving dinner for her children or grandchildren.
“All monetary donations have been provided with excess donations that I’ve received for my baking and don’t need to use for supplies,” said Hedlund, who is also searching for a location to expand her business so she can help more people.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to help Hedlund, you can do so through her GoFundMe page ‘Baked Blessings’.