Go Far Christmas was started in December 2009 by Mark & Sue Knutson over dinner one night. Inspired by the season and working with the Churches United for the Homeless director at the time, an online campaign started just 10 days before Christmas. Friends & family donated that year - and with the match from the Fargo Marathon, Inc., Go Far Christmas was able to raise $3,300. Fargo Marathon Committee members and their families volunteered to help buy, wrap and deliver presents.
The next year, on December 18, 2010, Mark & Sue were married. That year they decided that any monetary wedding gifts would be donated to Go Far Christmas. So in lieu of getting wedding gifts, or asking for donations, all wedding money was donated to the Go Far Christmas program.
In 2011, Go Far Christmas expanded - and started to include sponsorships and donations from businesses, as well as donations from individuals online. Each year, the amount collected has increased, with 2014 being the highest at over $10,000! Fargo Marathon Inc., matches up to $4,000!
2017 will be the 9th year for Go Far Christmas - a program that has raised over $55,320 in 8 years! Throughout the years, we have been blessed to have friends, family, Fargo Marathon Committee members and sponsors involved: helping donate, wrap, buy and deliver the presents. It's truly a family affair!
"For I was
hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me
something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. "
" Matthew 25:35
Eleven families currently living in homeless shelters were given gifts from the community today. The Anton family is wrapping gifts for families in need. They are among 25 volunteers and Fargo Marathon committee members looking to spread holiday cheer.
"Its an activity that has proved to be rewarding. Everybody should have a good Christmas so we wanted to kind of use this opportunity to teach our seven–year–old more about giving than receiving in Christmas also," Tricia Anton said.
Mark & Sue Knutson