Samantha Johnston Twining, 26, of Media, is in the final stages of completing her annual "Samantha's Secret Santa."
In it's fourth year, Samantha's Secret Santa Project provides food, toys, clothes and other household items to families in the region with financial hardships and children with disabilities.
Samantha's vision for this project began four years ago after recovering from a car accident that left her paralyzed in 2008. Since enduring her own personal tragedy, she vowed to give back to the community especially to children with disabilities.
Last year, Samantha operated and organized with friends, family, local business and her parish, Saint Mary Magdalen to collect gifts and food for over 70 children and 30 families!
Part of her mission is to motivate kids to get involved in changing lives of other children through fundraising and charity. An event was held last year at her parish for the students to help load up vans with gifts to be sent to the children. Action News also came to capture the scene.
This year, Samantha started to plan her project in October with more participants for more families. However, in a recent and tragic turn of events, her father was suddenly diagnosed with cancer and passed away on December 11.
Her project was put on hold for a couple days so she could be with her family to plan his funeral service and burial on Saturday. But on Sunday morning, Samantha's strong devotion to these children led her back to the basement of her parish to organize and send off the gifts to over 80 children to have in time for Christmas.
As a Media native, Samantha loves her town and can often be seen wheeling on State Street with Bella (her Boston Terrier) shopping, dining and chatting with the small business owners and locals that make up the town she takes much pride in.
She is a strong, driven, caring and passionate young woman who has changed the lives of many local families and children with her hard work and dedication. She has learned so much about these families and their struggles that she is always searching for more ways to help them all year round. She is one of the many unique and kind individuals who make up our town.
For more information, check out the Samantha's Secret Santa Project on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamanthasSecretSantaProject?ref=stream