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200 Families to Receive the Best Christmas Ever Thanks to This 3Mer

Friday, December 14, 2018 4:15 pm CST

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Jason Kunz’s day job as a 3M corporate safety specialist is his number one priority. But he is also the co-founder of Best Christmas Ever (BCE), an organization that partners with business leaders and communities to give families who have fallen on hard times a Best Christmas Ever.

In fact, Jason’s passion for giving earned him 3M’s highest service leadership award earlier this year - he’s one of only 29 people in the company to receive this recognition.  

“The fact we work for a company that recognizes the value of the volunteer work so many of us do outside of 3M reaffirms my commitment to our company and motivates me and so many others to want to do more of it, while simultaneously bringing more of our best selves to 3M,” said Jason.

3M recognizes the important role volunteers play in strengthening our communities, which is why we have a program called FlexAbility that encourages employees to balance personal and professional goals, commitments and activities – including volunteering.

We recently sat down with Jason to get the latest on BCE, find out what motivates him to give back and learn how he balances work and BCE.

The #BCEMovement
Jason and a friend started Best Christmas Ever in 2011 when they partnered with local businesses to give one family a great holiday. Over the past seven years, it has grown tremendously – so much that this year the #BCEMovement hopes to award up to $2 million to surprise 200 families across the U.S., all within a few days leading up to December 25.

What’s a Best Christmas Ever?
A typical "Best Christmas Ever" provides $5,000-$25,000 in highly specific gifts that include toys for the kids but is also focused on setting families up for long-term success in four key areas: Family, Faith, Finance and Health. Items BCE has historically provided families include new vehicles; support with medical bills, rent and mortgage payments; college scholarships; customized Minnesota fan experiences; chiropractic and health care; financial consulting and family trips.

The work-volunteer balance
Jason’s volunteer efforts require a great deal of time: He puts in about 20 hours during the week for BCE planning in addition to his job at 3M, and weekends are busy, too. “Luckily, I am engaged to the world’s most patient, thoughtful and compassionate woman, who just happens to be a BCE board member," said Jason. "We both understand that generosity inspires generosity. It isn't just about making a difference for 200 families; we do this to impact the millions of people those families will touch over the next 50 years and beyond.”

The 100-yard sprint
In a calendar year, Jason spends January wrapping up the previous year’s BCE. He gets some down time during the winter, but come April, it’s time to start planning, fundraising and, before he knows it, the holidays are here again.

He describes his year leading up to the “Best Christmas Ever drop” – where families are surprised on, or just prior to, Christmas morning – as a 100-yard sprint. “It’s like my head is down for 99½ yards, sprinting, focused on the tasks and the grind and the hustle,” Jason explained. “As we near the 'BCE drops' each year, I am reminded to look up for that last half yard and see the tangible difference those 99½ yards made, up close and personal. And when it comes time to start that 100-yard sprint again, weary or not, the choice is simple. It’s simple because I am reminded of every one of those families we blessed last year, and that last half yard is and will always be worth the first 99½." 

Next year, BCE hopes to create a movement that will impact people 365 days a year.  Visit BCE's Facebook page to see the families that will be impacted by Jason’s work.

 

 

Jason Kunz

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