Stella Wrubel, Quinn Graves, Isabella Dickason and Trevor Godkin are all high school seniors and on a mission to help people in need. Founded in 2012, Jingle Bell Mistletoe (JBM) has raised over $414,454.00 for its charity partners. JBM’s work alone has fed over 1.2 million North Texans in need – simply from the efforts of a few determined kids selling mistletoe at community stands during the holiday season. In 2018, JBM set a Guinness World Record of the number of couples kissing under mistletoe, with 340 couples participating. This year the teens will aim to break the record again for the “Most Couples Kissing Under the Mistletoe” at Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 3. To register and be a part of setting the world record, couples can sign up here for $25. Couples must be willing to kiss each other on the lips and be 17 years of age or older. Children may accompany parents. The non-profit, which is run entirely by the teens will also sell mistletoe throughout the holiday season. See the JBM website jinglebellmistletoe.org for details.
BENEFITTING: North Texas Food Bank
HISTORY: Over ten years ago, Stella Wrubel feared the worst for New York City when Hurricane Sandy hit. She felt helpless watching the news and asked, "What can a KID do to help?!"
While at her family ranch over Thanksgiving, Stella decided to cut down mistletoe, decorate it with bows and bells, and bring it home to sell in her front yard. Her first stand sold out in thirty minutes. She overheard someone say, "Mistletoe is PURE PROFIT!" - and indeed, it was. By the time Christmas rolled around, Stella had raised $2,034 and had a check for the American Red Cross headquarters in New York City. After delivering the check in person, Stella learned first-hand how the Red Cross disaster relief teams help people in need and had the opportunity to meet fire-fighters who saved neighborhoods, while their homes were lost to Hurricane Sandy. Stella realized the impact that she could have.
All year long, when people asked Stella about her plans for 2013, she was determined to raise more funds. Stella enlisted a team of her most clever and talented friends from school to help with her fundraising efforts. She envisioned that each kid would use their own talents to raise the greatest amount of funds: some make signs, others spread the word, some work at the stands. Stella’s plan had an amazing response, raising $8,421 for the Red Cross.
One friend in particular, Quinn Graves, was very involved with the fundraising and mistletoe sales. In 2014, Stella joined forces with Quinn and they expressed that all proceeds from the mistletoe stands would go to the North Texas Food Bank (NTFB). With the help of their classmates, Stella and Quinn raised an astonishing $17,720.
Everyone was very excited to support the duo again in 2015. Highland Park Village in Dallas invited Stella and Quinn to have all of their stands in their center, and generously matched all of the proceeds that they raised. With Highland Park Village’s partnership, Stella and Quinn raised over $39,000! In 2016, they again raised over $37,000 to help fight hunger. As the “mistletoe movement” has grown, the young philanthropists have expanded into more corporate partnerships and creative marketing.
The NTFB recognized Stella and Quinn as “Youth Leaders of the Year 2016” at the annual Golden Fork Award ceremony, where the NTFB recognizes top volunteers that have exemplified commitment and dedication to hunger relief in North Texas.
In 2018, the foursome set a Guinness World Record of the number of couples kissing under mistletoe. On November 9, 2018 – National Philanthropy Day – Jingle Bell Mistletoe received the “Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy” award from the Association of Fundraising Professional Greater Dallas Chapter. MORE INFORMATION: Instagram: @Jingle_bell_mistletoe Website: www.jinglebellmistletoe.org
ABOUT NORTH TEXAS FOOD BANK: The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) is a top-ranked nonprofit relief organization, and the largest North Texas charity. Each day, the North Texas Food Bank provides access to 170,000 meals for hungry children, seniors and families through a network of more than 1,000 programs and 262 Partner Agencies. In fiscal year 2014, NTFB provided access to some 62 million meals. NTFB recently has announced a 10-year vision to eliminate the hunger gap in its 13-county service area. NTFB is a member of Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization. For more information visit ntfb.org