To help spread kindness and warmth this holiday season, one Washington family took their 5-year-old son's advice to collect and donate hot cocoa to families in need.
"We were out for a walk one night and it was starting to get cold -- and whenever Hudson gets cold he says, 'OK I need hot cocoa to warm up,'" Lacey Galligan told "Good Morning America" of how they first thought up the idea. The mom of three explained to Hudson that "not everybody gets hot cocoa" and he retorted, "we need all the kids to have hot cocoa because it can help keep people warm."
Galligan slept on it and thought about how she could turn her 5-year-old boy's sweet idea into a reality.
"We had done a few small things for Backpack 4 Kids and then I contacted them and they told me how many families they serve -- 530 kids and 200 families per week in the community," she said of the nonprofit organization that feeds hungry children and families on the Key Peninsula and in Gig Harbor. "So I thought we could do 200 boxes of hot chocolate, because that would give every family hot cocoa. And then my daughter [Giselle, 7] chimed in that we needed to do marshmallows too."
The family helped donate 300 boxes of hot chocolate and 300 bags of marshmallows total, which were distributed the week after Christmas.
"Even what we contributed was small, cause we were just the vessel able to drive the supplies and have people donate. But it shows you that something small can be such a great thing," Galligan explained. "If you listen to the kids and try to make it happen, it's amazing what big things can happen with the community's help."
Due to COVID-19, the organization pivoted its model to have families do food pick-ups in-person versus delivering backpacks to schools.
"The people there work so hard," Galligan said. "It lets these families know that the community cares about them and I want the kids to know that every child and caregiver to know that we care."
Once the Galligans got home from dropping off the sweet treats, Hudson said, "Well, it’s gone now," excitedly and with a smile, his mother said,
"Any time we can encourage people to look at tiny things that they can do to spread kindness, we're happy to help with spreading kindness," Galligan said.