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Grand Forks woman assembling gift boxes for children in need

Fueled by a love of Christmas and working with children, Alexis Kringstad, who runs Mini Miracles Daycare, has started assembling boxes filled with gifts and necessities for her project “The Night Before Christmas Boxes.”

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Alexis Kringstad puts the finishing touches on a present for her "Night Before Christmas Boxes" project at her home in Grand Forks on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.
Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — A local daycare provider is hoping to spread holiday joy in Grand Forks by gifting boxes full of toys, art supplies, candy and more to children in need.

Fueled by a love of Christmas and working with children, Alexis Kringstad, who runs Mini Miracles Daycare, has started assembling boxes filled with gifts and necessities for her project “The Night Before Christmas Boxes.” Working with three Grand Forks elementary schools, those boxes will be distributed to children in the community in December.

“Christmas is my No. 1 favorite holiday and every single year I’ve been more than fortunate to have amazing Christmases with family, presents and lots of food,” said Kringstad. “I want to be able to give back.”

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This year’s project marks the return of a holiday tradition for Kringstad, who first assembled the gift boxes as Miss Outstanding Teen Grand Forks 2015. At the time, she was 15 and realized other children might not have had the same positive experiences with the holiday season.

“I was writing my Christmas list and thinking about how some kids might not be able to write their Christmas lists,” she said.

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Originally, the project was put together by Kringstad and her mother, who assembled boxes with snacks, hot chocolate, movies and pajamas for children in Grafton, North Dakota, where she grew up.

Kringstad has lived and worked in Grand Forks for two years, and sees the larger community as an opportunity to grow her project and help more children. While she does not know how many boxes she will be able to make, she hopes each one will be impactful for the recipients.

“Even if there was only one box, that would be amazing because I know that it has changed some kid’s view on Christmas,” she said.

Kringstad is working with Phoenix Elementary, Winship Elementary and Wilder Elementary in Grand Forks to distribute the boxes to children. School staff will identify children in need of the boxes and discreetly send them home with a box before winter break starts.

Along with toys and games, Kringstad plans to include other needed items like clothing, pajamas and winter gear in the boxes. Kringstad also is stocking up on hygiene items, which will not be included in the boxes but can be sent home with children selected to receive a box.

“I did hear there are a lot of kids who could really use even one item from the box, so I really, really hope that this can bring them just a little bit of joy,” she said.

Kringstad plans to spend more than $500 on the project, but is hoping to double the amount with the help of others in the community. All money donated will go toward items for the boxes or supplies, says Kringstad.

Kringstad is accepting financial donations for the Night Before Christmas Boxes through a GoFundMe page titled "The Night Before Christmas Boxes" until Dec. 18.

Related Topics: CHRISTMASGRAND FORKS
Ingrid Harbo joined the Grand Forks Herald in September 2021.

Harbo covers Grand Forks region news, and also writes about business in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Readers can reach Harbo at 701-780-1124 or iharbo@gfherald.com. Follow her on Twitter @ingridaharbo.
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