When I interviewed 12-year-old Stella Wrubel for a story about her Jingle Bell Mistletoe philanthropy in PaperCity‘s December issue, she revealed many things: a love of reading, a very creative spirit, and a strong passion for giving back with her friends.
Along with fellow sixth graders Quinn Graves, Isabella Dickason, and Trevor Godkin, Stella sells festive mistletoe bouquets for several days this month at Royal Blue Grocery in Highland Park Village, with 100 percent of proceeds donated to the North Texas Food Bank.
Having raised close to $95,000 since Stella started the charity in 2012, the group hopes to achieve a goal of $60,000 this year with the help of corporate sponsors.
The foursome will be at Royal Blue from Friday, December 15 through Monday, December 18, 10 am to 2 pm. Below, they share some of their most cherished memories with Jingle Bell Mistletoe and divulge what they hope to become when they grow up.
Why did you want to participate in Jingle Bell Mistletoe?
Quinn: I wanted to help other people. It has also now become such a large part of my family’s holiday.
Isabella: I wanted to help people who are really in need. It’s great to know you are making a difference in your neighborhood. It’s also a ton of fun — I get to hang out with everybody and sell mistletoe while the boys sing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs.
Trevor: So I could feed hungry people in North Texas. I also wanted to spend time with my friends during the holidays. My goal is to create something that would grow and do more good than the four of us could ever do on our own.
Favorite memory over the years?
Quinn: Trevor and I always sing while selling. One time when we were singing, a lady came by in her car and admitted that she had been in a bad mood, but our songs had helped turn her mood around into a Christmas feeling. She then made a very generous donation.
Isabella: One year, Stella and I and a couple other girls made up a jingle. We would just walk up to people and sing it to them. It was a ton of fun, and they got to learn about us in a 12-second song.
Stella: Going to Hotchkiss Elementary and meeting the children we help; meeting the firemen in Brooklyn, New York [her first year, Stella donated proceeds to the American Red Cross headquarters in New York City]; and coming around the corner at Highland Park Village to see two of my best buds belting out Christmas carols from the back of a pickup truck.
Why do you like giving back to the North Texas Food Bank?
Stella: I think the NTFB is an amazing group of people. I want to help them make an even bigger difference in the lives of hungry North Texans.
Trevor: It is amazing that I am so lucky, but still there are people just like me in my community that are hungry. That is why I like to give to the NTFB.
What makes the four of you compatible?
Stella: We are so different that we all bring a new set of gifts to the table. We’re best friends, and that helps, too. We have great respect for each other and a lot of fun together.
Quinn: The business and our little gang have helped us become close friends. I think we’re compatible because we’re friends outside of mistletoe, and we divide the responsibilities up pretty evenly.
Isabella: We have a lot of the same interests. We all love to watch the TV show, Survivor.
What do you hope to be when you grow up?
Trevor: I hope to be an engineer because I am very creative, hard working, and good at math.
Stella: I would like to be a paleontologist because prehistoric bones that have been trapped under the ground are interesting to me.
Isabella: I would like to run my own small business because a lot of the time, when I go to a store, I will see something and say, ‘This would be so much better if they did it like this,’ or ‘It would be a lot more interesting if they did this a certain way.’
Quinn: I want to be a business owner because I feel like I’m getting good experience now, and also learning how to be responsible for a portion of a company.
To read Linden Wilson’s profile of Stella Wrubel, the 12-year-old difference maker, click here.