3 Families12 Days$30k of Relief

Makana students leading the cause

Who Is Makana?

Makana Leadership Academy is a residential-therapy, intensive leadership-course that helps transform teenage hardship into greatness. One of the exciting things we do with our youth is to teach them essential leadership and project management skills.

house iconThe Cause

This season our students have chosen to help three families who have run into incredible hardship during 2020. Their vision is to create a life-changing version of the 12 Days of Christmas. They have carefully mapped the stakeholders needed to pull off a $30,000, in-kind donation fundraiser. They are now contacting members of the community and local businesses to generously pitch in.



Student Leadership

We are already so proud of the vision and hard work these students have invested in this Leadership Project. So, after reading this win-win-win overview, we hope you feel inspired to join us!

student 1

I have been very passionate about helping people for my whole life, but I’ve never had the opportunity nor the ability to meaningfully act on it. Since I’ve been at Makana I’ve learned so many new skills on how to help people and create openings for myself and others in life. This project has been a great lesson for me and an amazing window for me to utilize the new skills I harbor due to this program. I’m very excited to be helping people that need it. In my life, it has never been a normal thing for people to help out of the goodness of their hearts, and I’m glad that this group and I can be the change that we would like to see in the world. I’m ecstatic as to how this project can help these families, not just short term, but down the road as well.

student 3

When I arrived at Makana, I had no idea that I would have the opportunity to not only learn valuable leadership skills but also to apply them through impactful, real-world projects such as this 12 Days of Christmas endeavor. I am beyond excited to be a part of this operation to transform the lives of these struggling families; I can understand from my experience how it feels to be lacking fundamental necessities and facing hardship. Using the new capacities in leadership & communication that we have been developing, I feel extremely optimistic that this project, and all of those willing to be involved, will alleviate the distress confronting these families.

student 2

This project truly matters to me because throughout my life I have been able to see how financial struggles can affect a family. After being given the opportunity to be here at Makana despite my family’s financial struggles, I really want to pay it forward to the recipients of our cause. I have been able to build a sense of personal connection and responsibility to these families as our project has progressed. I am hoping this project will be able to change lives through these 12 Days of Christmas!

student 4

In this leadership project we put our passion and motivation into a project that really matters to us: giving back to the community. Coming to Makana was a Christmas miracle for me, so I personally want to help do something small for the people around me in the community. I know what it’s like to be without, and some of the gifts these families would receive would really have changed my life. I personally wish that I had anyone that cared about us families in need in my community as a child and making some of these kids’ Christmases would truly make mine. I want a career in business in the future, and we are really approaching this project like a business model so we can apply it to the real world. By doing this I can combine my goal to help others and my drive to succeed in the business world, all in one project.

The Goal

  • Raise $30,000 In-Kind Donations
  • Distribute Goods to
    3 Special Families in Need

The Families

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Family #1

The first family we chose to help very recently lost everything when their house burned down. They are currently staying in a motel room as they try to find affordable housing. This family has five kids with ages ranging from five to fifteen, and they are in desperate need of a variety of fundamentals.

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Family #2

Our second family unfortunately lost their insurance when the father initially lost his job 6 months ago. Also, the family is receiving no help from the state. The parents are constantly busy trying to sustain themselves while also caring for their three kids between the ages of 1 and 3. They are struggling to obtain basic items such as diapers.

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Family #3

Our third family has always struggled financially, especially with their growing family; there are four kids from a newborn to a six year old. The mother struggles with health concerns and is often looking for work to earn extra money. The family needs our help to give them a life-changing Christmas.

All this is for 12 kids, 6 adults, and everything is personalized.

Day 1

Christmas DécorGoal – $1,000



Day 2

TechnologyGoal – $3,000



Day 3

HygieneGoal – $1,000



Day 4

ClothingGoal – $1,000



Day 5

Toys/RecreationGoal – $1,000



Day 6

Kitchen/AppliancesGoal – $2,000



Day 7

LifestyleGoal – $2,000



Day 8

InteriorGoal – $1,000



Day 9

Outdoor/ToolsGoal – $1,000



Day 10

Dental WorkGoal – $5,000 (cash only)



Day 11

Food/SuppliesGoal – $2,000 (cash only)



Day 12

Car/AutoGoal – $10,000 (cash only)



Donation Packages


  • Film 2-min ad content
  • Photo shoot with family (1 group and individuals) not printed
  • 1 Makana swag package (Merch)


  • Film 5-min ad content
  • Photo shoot with family (1 group and individuals) group shot printed and framed
  • 2 Makana swag packages (Merch)


  • Film 5-min ad content
  • Photo shoot with family (2 group and individuals) group shots printed and framed
  • Sundance Resort passes for 2 days (rentals not included)
  • Painting from Lund Fine Art (live link)
  • 4 Makana swag packages (Merch)


  • Good Vibes!
Utah Department of Human Services
Utah State Board of Education
California Department of Education
Post Adoption Service
Greenwood Associates