A Valley business brightened the holidays by surprising seven families in need with $1,000.
The owners of Mint Medical Marijuana dispensaries found the families through local charities and other groups they partner with. Some were recommended by their own staff.
One of the families that received the generous gift of cash was the Conant family.
Mother Elizabeth Conant has four children. Her husband lost his job earlier in the year, and pandemic made it difficult for him to find new work. This drastically slashed their paycheck.
"I was only getting like $1,000 a month and it was really hard to try to keep all my bills paid when I was barely making my rent," said Elizabeth Conant. The family was surviving on about $200 of food stamps, but with two growing boys, Conant said that was proving to be tough as well.
When Raul Molina, the COO of the Mint Dispensaries, and his staff showed up to present her with $1,000 in cash, she was surprised and overwhelmed.
"I cried. It feels good to know that people appreciate me like I appreciate them," said Conant.
Molina said, just like all of the families they helped, it brightened his Christmas as well. He acknowledged that the pandemic has made it tough for these families and he feels blessed to have done well in his business.
"So we just wanted to share a little bit of that with people in our community. We know that what we've been handing out and what we've been doing is not going to change anybody's life, but if it can just change their December, we are good with that," said Molina.
Before receiving the gift, Conant said she planned to buy a few small gifts from the Dollar Store for her children. "I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to give my kids Christmas actually," she added.
Thanks to the gift, Conant said she was able to let her children pick out their own Christmas presents. The family was able to visit siblings in New Mexico, and pay off a few outstanding bills as well.
Molina said seeing the tears and joy in the faces of the families made this "labor of love" worth it. He was especially touched by the families with special needs children.
"It is rough to see a 12-year-old girl be carried in her mother's arms because she can't walk on her own," said Molina.
He said Mint Dispensaries now planned to make this cash giveaway part of their annual holiday tradition.