Bemidji Family Surprised With “Best Christmas Ever”
Santa’s helpers in Bemidji have been busy this month spreading some holiday cheer to a local family as “Best Christmas Ever” is back for it’s second year.
“To have everybody out there and just to see familiar faces and unfamiliar, but just to have them showing up for us is just… it’s huge! It’s overwhelming, it’s emotional,” says Erin Brittain, one of this year’s recipients.
Erin and her husband Bryce are a family of six. They fell on hard times earlier this year, shortly after their youngest daughter was born in February.
“Right after our 10 year anniversary, we found out a couple of days later when we went in for what we thought was maybe pneumonia or some kind of sickness like that, so they referred us to Duluth, Essentia Medical Center and we got the news that night,” says Bryce.
“The news that our son, Truman, was diagnosed with leukemia,” adds Erin while tearing up.
The family has been making non-stop trips to Duluth for Truman’s treatment. The family is known for their kindness, and that’s what prompted Amy Johnson, a friend and co-worker of Erin’s, to nominate them.
“Just thinking about Erin and Bryce and all that they’ve been through this year, I decided to nominate their family to have a chance at the community to give back for all that Erin and Bryce give to us. Erin is one of the first to help anytime somebody needs it at school and I work with her and Bryce is serving our country that way,” says Johnson.
The Best Christmas Ever elves went to work last night, wrapping gifts for the family. All the gifts were donated by members of the Bemidji community.
“The amount of people who were here last night for the wrap. You could just feel the energy knowing that we’re going to make such an impact on this family for this Christmas and just their reaction was outstanding,” says Jake Bluhm, who was a Best Christmas Ever team captain this year.
The family didn’t only receive gifts. Erin and Bryce were also surprised with a check worth $5,149 to help with medical expenses. You can call Operation Best Christmas Ever 2017 a success, and believe it or not, organizers are already planning for next year.
“Our nominations will open up next year in October, so we want to get the word out sooner so that we have more families that are nominated so that we can bless somebody next year,” says Sheri Jahner, who is a part of the Best Christmas Ever team.
Erin says, “As a community it’s huge to see everybody come together and if we can do even one small part and pay it forward, that would just be the least we can do.”
The other 12 families who were nominated for Best Christmas Ever will not be left empty handed. They’re all getting gift cards thanks to the Best Christmas Ever team.