The holidays are over, the trees and decorations have come down and the cookies and candy are almost gone. But here’s a dose of warm-fuzzies to keep your holiday high going for at least another day or two.


As you might have heard already, this year’s KYSS-mas for Kids auction was a smashing success, with a grand total of more than $24,000 being raised to help give local children-in-need the Christmas they deserved.


After auctioning off a variety of goods and services donated by area businesses, KYSSFM employees — along with staff from several sister stations — used the money they raised to take the kids on a Christmas shopping spree at Shopko.


If there is one thing better than the feeling you get from helping less-fortunate children, it’s the feeling you get when you hear words of gratitude from the children that benefited from your generosity.


Recently, three of the kids who participated in the shopping event stopped by the radio station to talk about their experiences. Warning: you might want to take off your sweater, because you’re about to be blasted with enough warm-fuzzies to make you sweat.


Although he was very grateful for the opportunity to buy Christmas presents for himself and his family, 17-year-old Anthony reminded everyone what the holiday season is really about, saying, “I got to spend the time with my mom, which I don’t get to do that often. That was probably my best present, but materialistic things just kind of add to it. I hope everybody appreciates Christmas and what it really stands for.”


Reflecting on her own Christmas, 16-year-old Myranda expressed great appreciation for the people who made KYSS-mas for Kids happen.


“I really appreciate the Missoula community out there for putting their effort into helping the youth homes and changing everybody’s lives the way you do, and it was a great Christmas,” she said. “You don’t understand how thankful the youth homes are for having you guys available to lean on and giving $50 to every nonprofit placement, from Shopko…that was amazing.”


Brooke is a 2010 graduate of The University of Montana, where she ran track and cross country for the Grizzlies. She is currently working as a writer and editor in Missoula.