Every town should have a "Sam."
For the fifth straight year, the Lake Park-Audubon student raised tens of thousands of dollars to feed families over the holidays.
But this year, Sam Bestge went the extra mile.
Restaurants hurting because of COVID-19 shutdowns are getting their own Christmas present from Sam: some business.
Even our first winter storm couldn't stop "Sam's Meals for Many" in Lake Park.
In cold and snow, 15-year-old Sam Bestge loaded food boxes into the cars of those who will have meals over the holidays thanks to him.
"We have to because these families are depending on these meals now, so it really does make a difference," the Lake Park-Audubon sophomore said.
Sam's goal this year was to raise $25,000 for his Meals for Many project. He raised $30,000.
This year, Sam recruited area restaurants and paid them to make meals, instead of the usual community meal-packing event made impossible by social distancing concerns.
His efforts provided for 60 families in the LP-A school district, eight meals each.
"He is going to get it done, he is so positive and with everything going on with the restaurant and families out of work," said the Cormorant Pub's Tricia Maloney.
"He is so positive. I have cried because he has made us so happy. He knows how we have been struggling and we will get through it like everybody has," Maloney added.
It seems the weather has always been a challenge.
Last year, Sam battled sub-zero temperatures to collect groceries for his project.
All this from a teenager, who at 15, has already raised tens of thousands of dollars in the past five years to feed families he will never know in his own backyard.
"I get the feeling of helping somebody," Bestge said.
If you would like to learn more about Sam and the businesses that helped him this year, click here.
If you would like to contribute to Bestge's fundraiser for next year, you can reach him at email@example.com or by phone at 701-730-7034.