Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind — or forgotten.
— Lilo Pelekai, Lilo & Stitch
It all starts with that special spark kindled in the hearts of the young — and, of course, the young at heart — when they first experience the magic of Disney. And in this Easter season filled with joy and new beginnings, it’s all about family for one group of Disney devotees, as they share their enthusiasm for all things Disney with each other and the ones they love.
As they exchange tokens of their Disney dreams, this all-inclusive group has taken the spirit of Ohana to heart, not only for Easter, but all year long. Inspired by the 2002 Disney hit movie Lilo & Stitch, the group embraces the special bond between characters Lilo, a young, orphaned Hawaiian girl who sees the good in everyone, and Stitch, her adopted alien friend, who helps her discover the true meaning of Ohana through their shared adventures.
“Our Disney Ohana is a fun-loving, family-friendly group of Disney lovers,” explains exchange organizer Sandra Rumsey, who used the Elfster site to pair gift-givers. “You’ll find people from all over the globe in our group. We have some people that were Cast Members, some that still are and some that want to be! We have passholders, people that wish they were passholders and people who have never set foot ‘home’ (into one of the theme parks). We have all ages in our Ohana. In Our Disney Ohana, Ohana means family and family means never getting left behind or forgotten. That’s how we look at our group. Everyone is family and everyone is included. All of our admins strive hard to keep it a safe, family-friendly environment for all our members.”
“We have been an active Facebook group for almost one year (April will be the one year anniversary),” says Sandra. “We were formed from a much larger group because we wanted to have a close knit and more ‘family feel’ to our group than the bigger [Disney fan] groups had. Our group is built on a foundation of love for everything Disney and having family values. It’s a place where people can share Disney experiences, ask Disney questions and just interact with others that love Disney in a family-friendly environment.”
The Our Disney Ohana group currently boasts 1,146 members, but is always happy to add more. The group’s most recent Easter exchange using the Elfster site attracted 127 participants, which has increased by leaps and bounds from the group’s previous exchanges. “I fully expect our next one will have even more as they have grown each time we have done one,” Sandra explains. “This is the third one we have done for our Ohana.”
And the elves at Elfster are thrilled to support and help spread the spirit of Ohana for this family-friendly group as they share some “Disney flair.”
The group first used the Elfster site to connect for a holiday ornament exchange. “We had an exchange set up for U.S. only, as well as an international so that our non-U.S. cousins — we call our members cousins — could participate if they wanted,” Sandra explains. “Our next exchange was for Valentine’s Day. All items had to be Valentine’s and Disney themed. Our most recent was for Easter. Same thing, Easter and Disney themed items. We will be starting our next one at the end of March which will have the Flower and Garden theme. Basically outdoor goodies/spring and Disney themed items. We are currently planning to run one exchange per month.”
For the Easter exchange, participants were expected to spend $15.00 to send a Disney-themed gift to their “secret cousin,” however, some members go above and beyond, which is a testament to the group members’ generosity. Some group members enjoy picking items from their person’s wish list, but many like to use that as only a guide to create a unique and original gift.
“We are currently intending to make one exchange per month, but are fleshing out a few of them for their themes,” she says. “Our next one will be Flower and Garden themed and we intend to do a Halloween themed one in October. We’ll also do things like ‘unbirthday’ exchanges to keep with our Disney theme.
“Another we’ll be doing towards fall is the Food and Wine theme (based on the event held at Epcot in Walt Disney World). We like to make our exchanges fun, playful and with a little magic, too! We are always looking for new members that have our love, enthusiasm and are interested in a family-friendly atmosphere to share it all!”
This group certainly exhibits a true spirit of what matters most this Easter season. We would love to hear how your group is using Elfster, too. You can reach us via Facebook here. Tweet us @elfster or catch us on Instagram at #elfstergram. Need help getting started with your own exchange? We can answer any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Easter from Our Elfster Ohana to you.
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About Elfster.com — Elfster is the Web’s top-rated online Secret Santa generator. Participants use the company’s tool to organize a gift exchange of any type for any occasion, learn Secret Santa rules or how to play, organize family, office or friends and generally keep track of your holiday or Christmas gift exchange all conveniently online. Elfster makes it easy, free, and fun!