Six years ago, St. Mark's student Caroline Sullivan '22 and her longtime friend Lauren Dratch, both of Southborough, started a holiday fundraiser they call "Pretzels for Presents"; together, they sell gourmet chocolate-covered pretzels and then use the proceeds to purchase presents for young patients spending the holidays in the hospital.
"We started the charity after realizing that not every child gets to experience the same joys of the holiday season as Lauren and I did," explains Caroline. "For us, the holidays brought unwavering joy, as we were fortunate enough to be at home, surrounded by family and friends. But a few years ago, we realized that this is not the reality for many children. Many kids have to spend their holiday season in a hospital bed, in an unfamiliar and often scary place. This realization struck us in a profound way, and we decided to start this charity to bring some of our joy into their lives. Every year, we love giving back, and doing our small part to spread holiday cheer and hopefully make these children's lives just a little bit better."
The first year, in 2015, Caroline and Lauren delivered a car full of gifts to Boston Children's Hospital. In recent years, they have been donating to Shriners Children's Hospital, where burn victims and children with cleft lips and palates from around the world are treated free of charge. Last year, due to COVID-19 and safety precautions, Caroline and Lauren sold planners instead of pretzels, and raised over $1,500. This year, they are back to selling pretzels, and you can help support their worthy cause.
Make a donation or purchase a four-pack of candy coated pretzels for $5 by emailing Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, December 21, 2021. Choices include: milk chocolate with caramel drizzle; white chocolate with crushed Oreo topping; and dark chocolate with crushed candy cane topping. Payments and donations can be made via cash, checks made out to Caroline Sullivan, or Venmo (@Caroline-Sullivan-44).You can also watch Caroline and Lauren in this WCVB "5 for Good" spotlight from a previous year, and read about them here on mysouthborough.com.
Photograph by Judy Sargent