Small Town Santa 

Please click on the links to see the news story that WTAP covered. 

My wife and I for years have always donated in some way to help with the holidays for families who are less fortunate and in need. This year as new residents in West Virginia living in the small town of Elizabeth we planned on reaching out and helping three to four families or so. We arrived in our new home the first week of November so we knew going into this we would be short on time. It didn't take long at all for the compassion of this small town and local towns/cities to show as we began to receive an outpour of responses both from families nominating families in desperate need and also families who were generous enough to offer their help in anyway possible. The responses we received were catapulted by two things that we owe all the credit to....First being news reporter Laura Bowen with WTAP news who reached out to us about this story, and the other was great gal named Brittani Rupe who runs a Facebook group called Love Thy Neighbor that has been the conduit to getting the word out to help those people in need. With one of those two gals missing out of the equation the following story below would NOT have been possible.

Within the course of five days after the news interview with Laura Bowen we received hundreds of messages on our Facebook,  locals offering their knowledge, their thoughts and prayers, a few kind donations, and sadly a lot of messages from families pleading for help which of course was very touching for my wife and I. After taking a few hours to process everything we were reading we decided to change our plan of attack and go from helping three to four families to helping whomever reached out to us within the short amount of time we had to work with. With the help and prayers from many we spent the next few days before Thanksgiving with a routine that became clock work for us of buying turkeys, boxing them, working our normal jobs, and delivering those turkeys after work to families so they had them for Thanksgiving. The night before Thanksgiving and into Thanksgiving morning my wife (Laurel) and I cooked five turkeys for families who were either handicapped or didn't have the funds they needed to purchase those meals. My wife and I along with the help of our kids personally delivered those turkeys to families so they could sit with their families and not feel the stress of the holidays if even only for that one day. All and all we were able to help 29 families and others individually that we put together "To go" boxes for with a spare turkey that we had. We met some amazing people along the way and met many families who's stories broke our hearts.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
With Christmas coming the urgency is even larger than it was a week ago. It was brought to my attention by a gentleman named Tim who reached out to me on his own (and personally came out to meet my wife and I) who made an incredible point that due to Covid-19 and statewide shutdowns there will be NO help this year for families in need from the usual places many can reach for help like the YMCA, certain food banks, and local charity events due to the rapidly rising numbers of Covid. It breaks our hearts to think of the families who will not have Christmas dinners, toys for their kids, or any means to celebrate the holidays whether it is a Christmas tree or a gift under that tree. That is where we are asking for everyone's help and generosity this Christmas. My wife and I (until now) have never asked anyone for a single dollar. Everything we have done we have done out of our pocket for years with the exception of two wonderful people who insisted on donating last week towards those turkey dinners. My wife and I will continue to also use our own funds to reach our goal but we of course have limited funds as well and a budget like most of us. Now that we have all of December to work at this and knowing just how many more families are out there that are hurting this holiday season we are absolutely determined to help as many families as we can. As I said to local news WTAP during our interview "we just believe no family or child should go without a meal for Thanksgiving" we also believe no family should go without a meal on Christmas. I also believe though 2020 has been a horrible year for most........NO child should wake up Christmas morning without some sort of a gift with their name on it. This is where we are asking for help. 

If we can all share this GoFundMe link which we have titled Small Town Santa's to every person we know and every group we can think of, and if those people share to everyone they know and so on and so on we could reach thousands and thousands of people. Think about what we can accomplish if everyone who sees this would consider donating just $2. Think about what this could do. Think about the families we can touch this holiday season, and most importantly think of the amount of children we can put gifts under the tree for this year. The numbers could be something that none of us have ever seen before if we would all just do two things....Pass the word along, and consider donating just $2. Even a single dollar or whatever your heart desires. Our goal is to take the last month of what has been arguably the worst year most of us have ever seen and finish it off strong with ramming home a project that puts smiles on thousands of faces. We can make this happen. Please consider donating to our cause. Rest assured our golden rule is and always has been we keep $0 of anything that is offered and donated. We will NOT reap benefits from anything that is donated, and we will continue to put in as much as we can like we have always done. We are just not wealthy enough to do it without your help. 

Small Town Santa's | Facebook

My wife and I cannot believe the support and kindness we have experienced since we moved here. This small town of Elizabeth has a huge heart and that heart carries much further than these county lines. It is every single town and city along the way. Our goal is (with the help of others) to give back to this community that deserves to see smiles during the holidays. Every man, woman, and child from  ages 1 to 99 deserves to feel that small town warmth. Even if only for one day. We don't all live in the same town, but we all have the opportunity to be the Small Town Santa's for those in need. Help us make this happen. Any and all donations will be put to great use and so much appreciated. We were able to help 29 families in 4 days for Thanksgiving, so we are aiming high and hoping to help 500 families for Christmas. We invite you all to be a part of our mission. Thank you all!! 


The News Report That Started It All


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Shane Bouchard 
Elizabeth, WV
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