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Boy Scout became Santa to foster kids in Minnesota by selling $56,396 in popcorn

'I adopted all the foster care kids in Kanabec County and Isanti County for Christmas.'

boy scout; scout; foster children; fundraiser; acts of kindness
Photo by Mael BALLAND on Unsplash

Boy Scout became Santa to foster kids in Minnesota.

Most kids are busy trying to convince their parents they need a new thing added to their Christmas list a few days before the big day. But 12-year-old Jonathan "J.J." Werner in Cambridge, Minnesota, stays busy making sure other kids have something under their Christmas tree. He really takes his service projects seriously.

Last year, the young Scout worked to provide Christmas gifts for children in foster care in two Minnesota counties. This year, he added kids currently living in domestic violence shelters to the list. Jonathan raised money by participating in a popcorn fundraiser. He told KARE 11 in 2021, "I adopted all the foster care kids in Kanabec County and Isanti County for Christmas."

There were up to 120 kids in foster care in the two counties and Jonathan was able to provide a present for each of them, with the help of his mom's minivan. He made more than $46,194 in popcorn sales, and this year he beat that number by $10,000, selling $56,396 worth of popcorn.


In the United States, there are currently 407,000 children in foster care, with 34% of them being cared for by relatives. There isn't a set organization that universally provides Christmas gifts for children placed in foster care. Whether children in care receive gifts or not depends on the foster family if there's no special program from the state or if biological parents don't provide them. This can leave children without anything to open on a holiday where they will surely be asked at school what Santa brought them.

Thanks to Jonathan and his sleigh-driving mom, nearby children in difficult situations won't have to go without on Christmas day. The preteen Santa knows just how important it is for kids in foster care to feel loved because he knows someone that has experienced living in foster homes, his own dad.

"My dad spent 14 years in foster care and based upon stories that he had being in foster care, it doesn’t really sound like they had much of a Christmas," Jonathan told KARE 11. With more and more programs popping up to help foster children experience a good Christmas, things have definitely improved some since Jonathan's dad was in foster care, according to Isanti Health and Human Services Supervisor Ann Stackpool-Gunderson, as reported by KARE 11.

Jonathan was determined to do his part and other Scouts pitched in to help wrap gifts. It was a team effort that carried on to this year when Jonathan was able to buy even more toys with the money he raised. The amount of determination he has is admirable.

With the help of his team of elves and his mom, all the gifts were successfully dropped off at their respective locations to be distributed. Turns out this Scout may have a future in social work if he takes the Kanabec County supervisor up on his offer to apply for a job there when he's older.

Seeing someone so young take the time out of their holiday season to do something so selfless gives me the warm and fuzzies. I hope he continues to have success in this big undertaking in the future, because everyone deserves a little extra love during the holiday season.

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Unique Vintage is making fashion more fun and inclusive, one killer look at a time

Unique Vintage blends classic designs with contemporary sensibilities, making vintage-inspired fashion for every body.

Everyone loves the timeless allure of vintage fashion. But let’s face it: vintage fashion doesn’t love everyone back. The golden eras of style we so admire were not exactly known for their diversity or size inclusivity, so the silhouettes and sizes of retro fashion leave a lot of people feeling left out. But are you ready for some good news? One LA-based brand called Unique Vintage has set about rewriting fashion history by recreating vintage styles to fit the modern world. With a commitment to diversity and inclusivity, this company is making sure that anyone can rock their favorite vintage looks. If you’re looking for a fashion brand that actually celebrates the things that make us unique, you need to keep reading.

What is Unique Vintage?

In the heart of LA, at the dawn of the new millennium, Katie Echeverry’s love of vintage fashion set her on a course to change the fashion industry forever. Fueled by her passion for the elegance of bygone eras and the thrill of thrift store treasure hunts, Katie opened her own online vintage store, Unique Vintage. However, what Katie noticed was that there were tons of people who loved vintage clothing who could never actually wear. And it was this gap in the vintage fashion market that led her to turn Unique Vintage from an online vintage store to a fullblown vintage-inspired fashion label. Today, Unique Vintage has blossomed into an iconic brand that transforms nostalgia for the past into the fashion statements of the present.

But Unique Vintage isn’t just revered for its style. This company is committed to making diversity and inclusivity the norm in fashion. Their goal is to create classic looks for every body, celebrating our individuality and making everyone feel fabulous. To that end, they partner with a variety of charitable organizations that support women’s rights, animal welfare, and LGBTQ+ communities.

Ready to take a look at what Unique Vintage has to offer? Then lets dive in.

The Western Collection

The bold Western Collection gives you the timeless allure of country and western fashion, updated for the modern world. This collection is a celebration of classic Western aesthetics, reimagined for today's fashion-forward individual. From bold print dresses that capture the vibrant essence of frontier towns, to metallic cowboy boots that look like a sunset over the Vegas strip, each piece is meticulously designed to make a statement.

The Western Collection is where nostalgia meets contemporary style, offering a range of sizes to ensure that everyone can find their perfect fit and embrace their adventurous spirit. Whether you're getting dressed up for a girls night out, or you just like to look amazing when you go to the grocery store, these pieces are designed to turn heads.

Unique Vintage x Barbie

Born in 2017, the Unique Vintage x Barbie collaboration reimagines Barbie’s iconic styles for today's diverse and fashion-forward audience. Unique Vintage has meticulously crafted a collection that transcends time, bringing the nostalgic charm of Barbie's wardrobe into the present day with pieces that celebrate every body type.

From chic pencil dresses to playful A-line skirts, each item in the collection is an homage Barbie’s classic style, updated to ensure that everyone can find their perfect fit and feel fabulous.By blending Barbie's classic appeal with Unique Vintage's inclusive sizing, this collaboration invites everyone to experience the joy of dressing like a true fashion icon.

The Prom Collection

If you’ve got a special occasion coming up and you want to make a statement, the Unique Vintage Prom Collection offers a wide array of styles that cater to every taste. From the timeless elegance of the 1950s, to the bold glamor of the 1980s, and everything in between, this collection proves that classic styles never truly go out of fashion.

Each dress in this collection is a masterpiece specifically designed to make you feel like a prom queen. If you love the intricate details of vintage dresses, but have a hard time finding ones that fit—or that you can actually afford—Unique Vintage can make your dreams come true.

Vintage Inspired Fashion For Every Body

Thanks to Unique Vintage, gone are the days of rummaging through thrift stores, only to face the disappointment of not finding the right size, style, or price. Now everybody can experience the joy and nostalgia of vintage fashion—without even leaving the house. Whether you're in love with the flapper dresses of the roaring '20s, the swing skirts of the '50s, or the bold prints of the '70s, Unique Vintage offers a meticulously curated collection that spans the decades. Shop by clothing category, or by your favorite era, and find the classic looks you want while supporting a company that champions diversity, body positivity, and ethical practices.

So, why wait? With Unique Vintage, every purchase contributes to a broader movement towards a more inclusive and conscious fashion industry. If you’ve always loved vintage fashion, but have never been able to make it work for you, go check out the growing Unique Vintage community on social media for some fashion inspiration. Then check out Unique Vintage online and start building the vintage-inspired wardrobe of your dreams.

via Tod Perry

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