The Mistletoe Crew Ends on a High Note

Students raise over $500,000 for the North Texas Food Bank during their decade-plus mistletoe sales campaign.

Over 10 years, the Jingle Bell Mistletoe Crew raised more than $500,000 to help provide more than 1.5 million meals for their neighbors facing hunger.

“Don’t ever think that you can’t make a difference for your community no matter what age you are,” said North Texas Food Bank President and CEO Trisha Cunningham.

Stella, Quinn, Trevor and Isabella, the teenagers known as the Mistletoe Crew, started raising money to support others when they were still in elementary school in 2012. Now seniors in high school, the teens have raised over $500,000 for the NTFB through their annual mistletoe sales.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, they gathered hundreds of people in Klyde Warren Park to support their cause and attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most couples kissing under the mistletoe — a record they first helped set back in 2018.

Along with registration fees from each participating couple, the crew surpassed their $500,000 goal thanks to generous gifts from the Schlegel Family Foundation and an anonymous donor.

And they aren’t done yet.

North Texans can still purchase mistletoe in support of the NTFB Dec. 20 through 23 at various locations (find a full list here).

Decked out in an #MTOE hat along with the teens at the Dec. 3 record attempt, Trisha said the young adults are an inspiration and proof that each of us can make a difference. Their work is especially crucial now, she said, as the food bank is providing access to around 400,000 meals a day, more than at the height of the pandemic.

Stella, who started the fundraising effort after hearing of the devastation in New York following Hurricane Sandy, said the project certainly took work, but it’s been nothing but a joy. After raising money for New Yorkers that first year, Stella and her friends decided in 2014 to support their local neighbors through the North Texas Food Bank. Stella added that there are people around town who know her only because they purchase mistletoe from them each year — a tradition they’re going to miss when they head off to college next year.

“Every second of this over 12 years has been fun,” Stella said.

Quinn added that the project has also been life-changing for them.

“It’s really empowering to know anyone can make a difference,” he said.

 Find out more about Jingle Bell Mistletoe and how you can support them by purchasing mistletoe here.

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