VANCOUVER -- Most people use Craigslist to buy or sell an item, but Joanna Zakowski and her husband used it to offer kindness.

Their ad is titled: Is your family struggling this Christmas?

“My husband and I have decided to help a family instead of purchasing any gifts for each other this Christmas. We are looking to bless a couple of families this year,” the ad says.

Zakowski made the post Tuesday night and within an hour, she received nearly a dozen responses.

“With COVID present and the holidays coming up, I definitely did feel that there was a need. However, it just feels so much more real when you read email after email,” she said. “My heart felt very heavy and I began to sob and with every email that I opened up and read, it was just really heartbreaking.”

So far, 21 families have reached out for support.

Zakowski is a stay-at-home mom and said they are only able to help one or two families, making it difficult to choose who to help.

“I feel helpless because I would like to help all 21 families and I may not be able to do so,” she said.

She started an online fundraiser to help raise money to help fulfill those families’ wish lists. 

“A little bit goes a long way and if we all get together and give a little, we can help so many,” she said.