Original Published on Nov 11, 2022 at 15:27
By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Peace River woman Candace Dobransky is holding a fundraiser to help local families.
Hug in a Mug is a fundraiser that Dobransky started three years ago, when she started to notice the impact the COVID pandemic was having on people in her community.
“I started because COVID took so much away from everyone and so much of our community was affected,” she says.
“My thoughts were if I can have dinner with my children, why can’t I make that happen for someone who can’t afford it?”
Dobransky makes hot chocolate bombs from scratch and a number of other gifts that can be purchased to fulfill Christmas shopping lists, all while helping to support people in the community.
“I donate all of the profit,” she says. “I cover the supplies and my time and donate the rest. My first year was almost $4,000 and my second year was a little over $3,000,” she adds.
Hot chocolate bombs can be purchased in four different flavours: milk chocolate, white chocolate, candy cane and gingerbread. They cost $5 each or three bombs for $12. Christmas themed tumblers can be ordered for $40 and ceramic mug gift sets for $35.
“It’s an incredibly important fundraiser because it targets the families that can’t get the government funding or fly under the radar,” Dobransky says.
“We do some screening and only give funding or items the families can specifically use. We also take nominations for families that may need help.”
Dobransky asks people from the community to nominate families who require a little assistance. “My first year I got a few nominations for a single dad in town and so many people spoke highly of him,” she says.
“He was having a hard time with money and the only way he was able to get his kids was if they had new beds at his home. So, I went to the Brick and worked out a deal with them and got both kids a bed and some bedding, then gave him some gift cards so he could get food and gifts for Christmas.”
Dobransky says in the first year the Hug in a Mug campaign helped four families, and last year it assisted three. “Everything is confidential, and I usually surprise the person receiving the donation.”
To purchase some of the hot chocolate bombs, visit Hug in a Mug Facebook page or phone Dobransky at (780) 932-6154