Every year, KYSS-FM holds a special fundraiser called KYSSMAS for Kids to provide underprivileged children all over western Montana with gift cards they can spend however they like.

On Friday, December 3rd , not knowing how the fundraiser would go in a COVID year, Smith and Nelson opened their mics to begin the fundraiser, along with help from Dale Moore.

Townsquare Media’s Trina McDonald, the Digital Campaign Manager, provided some background information on the yearly fundraising effort.

“Christmas is obviously about kids,” said McDonald. “It's about helping the kids in our community by making sure that they have a little something for themselves via a gift card basically so they can go ahead and go shopping and buy themselves anything that's needed.”

McDonald said various community groups provide names of children that qualify to receive the gift cards.

“We have a lot of children who don't have hardly anything at all and actually some of them that are homeless, so this is a big help to them to be included in on it,” she said. “And so any amount that we get is obviously going to be helpful to these kids but this year, we were able to pull up our bootstraps and really get in there and help more kids than I actually expected.”

McDonald said as the day progressed, more individuals and groups came forward to donate, despite the COVID pandemic.

“By the end of the day, we had several very large donations,” she said. “We had groups coming in and bringing us money that they had talked to employees and they actually just dropped money into the kitty and handed it over. So we always have our really loyal people who donate every year, and they pretty much save us.”

McDonald provided the final tally of kids that will be receiving gift cards this Christmas.

“This year we have 513 kids on our list,” she said. “Right now it's at $30,485. We have another very large sponsorship check that's being delivered today. So actually, that's going to be another $1,000 in the kitty. So I think we're going to be able to do $60 gift cards for all of the kids. The 10 year running total is $315,185, and that's pretty darn amazing.”

In the past, all the children would come to one store early before opening hours to shop, however, due to COVID concerns, each sponsorship group will take their own group of children Christmas shopping.

KGVO and all the Townsquare Media stations in Missoula applaud all the hard work and planning that goes into KYSSMAS for kids every year, and many thanks go to all who donated to help the children.

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