North Bend, Oregon’s Toothbrush Christmas Campaign demonstrates how one humble request and one community filled with the spirit of kindness can help hundreds feel the warmth of caring hearts.

Police Chief Robert Kappelman explained the story behind the hand-sewn stockings filled with books, toys, a toothbrush and toothpaste that 400 children in his community received as a holiday surprise. Two years ago, in his role as a reluctant Santa, he received a request from a young boy for basic needs: a toothbrush and toothpaste. The simple wish inspired him to call on his community to help, and they responded in droves.

Lisa Flam for, shared a letter he posted on the police department’s Facebook page and on the city’s website, where donations can be made to keep the Toothbrush Christmas Campaign alive this year.

Read Chief Kappelman’s letter and learn how you can participate: