In 2011, Kristin Seaks and her family began a philanthropic holiday tradition, 25 Days of Giving, and they continue to give even after 25 days.
“This is our tenth year of doing 25 Days of Giving” Kristin Seaks said. “It started out as an idea that I was not sure existed, I did an internet search but couldn't find anything, I told my husband that it was a sign from God that it was something we should be doing.”
It has since turned into an event that multiple people in Dickinson have joined in on. According to Kristin, 10 other families participated this year by buying groceries to prepare for the 30 christmas meals they delivered.
A few years ago my son, Rhett, talked about getting a group together to make a bigger impact so I put it out there on Facebook and there were other families that said, ‘Yeah we would love to do activities together,’” she said. “It is what you make of it ... it can take away the pressure of commercializing but for us it is about action and we talk about giving our time, talents and treasures.”
Their time, talents and treasures has led the Seaks to giving in different ways; from donating to their favorable charities to playing sax and carolling at seniors' living facilities. What they have done also includes; volunteering for Angel 37, donating to Dickinson Backpack Program, baking goods together at St. Johns, and leaving reefs on the graves of veterans.
For this year and their efforts of delivering the 30 Christmas meals of either turkey or ham they received funds from Thrivent Financial, a Fortune 500 not-for-profit financial services organization headquartered in Minneapolis.
“Thrivent Financial helped us with purchasing the ham and turkeys,” she said. “We applied for the money for the meat and for all of the food baskets and so then the participating families would be responsible for the other essential parts of the meals … [Thrivent] also helped with the Backpacked Program getting games, crayons and craft for kids to have during the break.”
Kristen, works for the Dickinson Public School and a founding member of Dickinson's Backpack Program, which meets the needs for student hunger during weekends and school breaks. She expressed to the Press that giving can be beneficial to her kids.
“Sometimes I do lessons on giving and gratitude to talk to kids about helping others who may not have as much. Kristin said. “It's far better to give than to receive … Our kids get less so others can get more because knowing that we are giving to others and trying to make others christmas season a little more joyful, to let them know someone is thinking of them, that they are not alone that they are loved and cared for, I think thats what its all about.”
Kristin included games with each one of the christmas meals for families to play with together. The pride in voice matched perfectly with her words that she “can not imagine that there would be any other tradition” for her and her family.