Carlson School undergrad alum and Gopher Football punter Peter Mortell is ensuring teenage patients at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital receive gifts this holiday season. He is leading an effort to raise $25,000 to buy gifts for the young patients who will spend the holidays in the hospital. Mortell hopes to partner with a corporation that will match the funds raised. 

The campaign to bring smiles to hospital patients began in 2014. When Mortell and his Gopher teammates were given $452 Best Buy gift cards for their participation in the Citrus Bowl, he used the credit to purchase gifts for children at St. Joseph's Home for Children in Minneapolis. This year, he decided to carry forward the tradition of generosity.

"The feedback I've received since has been overwhelming," he says. "All of the people who showed their support helped me realize how willing to give our community truly is. It got me thinking, 'How can we do something bigger and better this year?'"

The crowdfunding effort met its initial goal of $10,000 in less than 12 hours, which led Mortell to reach higher. The campaign is nearing the new goal of $25,000.