In a tough year, many of us are feeling lucky for what we have.
And with gratitude comes an urge to give back. So Peanut, an app that connects women in all stages of motherhood, has made it easy for moms to support another mom in need.
By downloading the app and "matching" with Santa as a friend, women can request a shoebox in the mail, which they then fill with luxury items like nail polish, bubble bath, hair accessories and makeup and send directly to one of four U.S. women's shelters.
"Santa Claus is always a guy in a red suit, but we know that Santa is really a woman," said Michelle Kennedy, CEO and founder of Peanut, to TODAY Parents. "We know it’s moms at home making sure that everyone has gifts, making sure the family is looked after and making sure everyone has a great holiday period."
So this season, they're focusing on giving to moms who have had an extra difficult year.
“The holidays are not all beautiful Instagram pictures," said Kennedy. "For some women it's a very frightening part of the year where they think of all the things they won’t be able to do for their families. This is just a small gesture to make that feel a little lighter."
Peanut tried "Santa is a Woman" in 2018 when their team was small and they had shoeboxes shipped to their offices in the UK to distribute. The support from Peanut users was overwhelming, but distributing the gifts was a tough task and took longer than they'd have hoped.
This year, the program has been revamped: Once women fill the shoe boxes at home, they're shipped directly to one of four U.S. women's shelters that assist women who have experienced homelessness or domestic violence.
"Receiving these boxes will reassure these women they are not alone — that there's a network of other moms who care about them and their children and who have put their care into action," said Dawn Bradley-Fletcher, executive director of the New Orleans Women and Children's Shelter, one of the shelters receiving shoeboxes. "In a holiday season when she may not receive any gifts for herself, these boxes provide something just for mom to take care of and pamper herself so she can be a better parent to her children."