A Battle Ground teen is continuing a tradition to provide a family in need with a joyful Christmas.
On Nov. 20, 16-year-old Hannah Boyett and her family set up in the parking lot of the Margarita Factory in Battle Ground to sell homemade baked goods for the fourth year in a row. The proceeds will provide a local family with presents for their children and a holiday dinner, “so they have a better Christmas than what they would have had before,” Boyett said.
She initially started to bake and raise funds as part of her project to advance to the highest rank in the American Heritage Girls system. With some help from other members of the American Heritage Girls Troop 1031, she was able to raise $1,300 in 2019, well above her initial $500 goal.
That year, she sponsored eight children from two families. This year she is sponsoring one family with seven children. The families are chosen through the Salvation Army’s adopt-a-family program.
Boyett picked baking as the means for the fundraiser because of an interest she picked up around the time she was 13. Outside of the fundraiser, she bakes for herself mostly when she’s craving something.
“(If) I’m just kind of having a bad day, I’ll make blueberry muffins,” Boyett said.
That variety of muffin is her favorite as she said the flavor combination is “magical.”
Though it isn’t an American Heritage Girls project anymore, Boyett still receives support from her family. Her brother, Stephen, was present for the sale alongside her parents.
“He was up until 2 o’clock in the morning helping wrap the cookies,” Boyett said about her brother.
Through the years, Boyett said she has learned time management while preparing for the sales.
“Because it’s baked-fresh stuff, you can’t do it too early,” she said. “I have to do a lot of it in a short amount of time.”
While she does all of the baking herself, her parents cover the costs of the ingredients, Boyett’s mother, Julie, said.
“It’s really important to her that she does all the work herself,” Julie said.
Though she initially expected the sale to be a one time event, Julie recalls her daughter talking about the second outing as if it was a foregone conclusion and she’s been doing it ever since.
“I really saw the impact and the effect that it made,” Boyett said.
In the leadup to the sale, Boyett gets information about the family from the Salvation Army. That includes hobbies of the children in the family so she can personalize what she gives to them.
“I think it shows that instead of just getting them … some stuff, (she) took the time to make it pretty good,” her mother said.
Alongside the gifts for the kids, the sponsored families receive everything needed for a Christmas dinner. Julie added her daughter also provides a “family bucket” with snacks and board games, which is intended to bring the family together.
Julie recalled that one of the families her daughter sponsored reached out afterward to express their thanks.
“I could not be more proud of her,” Julie said.
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