Looking back on your childhood, I’m sure some of you remember writing a letter to Santa Claus. The letter was usually a list of items you hoped to find under the tree on Christmas morning. The list probably included dolls, video games, and maybe even a pony. Items that would make us squeal for joy on Christmas Day and having our parents feel accomplished.
Once finished, our parents would put the letter in an envelope and mark it "North Pole.” If we were good that year, we were assured that something from that list would be waiting for us under the tree.
Unfortunately, for many children, no matter how well behaved they have been all year, their letters go unanswered. Their parents can barely provide the day-to-day necessities, let alone a gift for Christmas.
There Really is a Santa Claus, a non-profit organization, located in Chicago, hopes to remedy as many of these situations as possible.
My friend Ashley Jones, sister Jennifer Jones, and her husband, Matt Beresh, make up the board of There Really is a Santa Claus, a 501(c) (3) charitable organization. This week the trio will sift through hundreds of Dear Santa letters to determine those in great need.
However, they can not do it all on their own. Each year the team seeks generous donors to help with their feat.
There Really Is A Santa Claus provides a wonderful and memorable way to experience giving. There are thousands of Chicagoans that struggle to pay utility bills, put food on the table, or purchase a winter coat for their child. Putting a gift under the tree on Christmas morning is next to impossible. There Really Is A Santa Claus provides an intimate, grass roots opportunity to give back to those in need.
The first thing they do is ask friends, family and the community for donations. There Really Is A Santa Claus gives you the opportunity to be as involved as you like. With a monetary donation, they assign a family member in need to you from one of the chosen Dear Santa letters. The group always encourages donors to purchase gifts for a family, but your involvement can range from a monetary donation, wrapping gifts, excess shopping, or hand delivering gifts to a family.
The full scope of There Really is a Santa Claus can be found on their website.
The great thing about There Really is a Santa Claus is that the groups is able to talk with each family in order figure out what they truly need. While many children ask for the latest video game systems, a tablet, or personal computer, the people in these letters often ask for shoes, coats, household items, or something as simple as nice Christmas dinner for their family. There Really is a Santa Claus strives to first provide each family member’s need, as well as something they want.
If you are interested in participating in this great program, please contact the group to pledge an amount you are willing to donate and get assigned a family member. As little as $25 can buy a child a coat or a family a nice Christmas meal.
There Really Is a Santa Claus always needs volunteers to assist with shopping, wrapping, and organizing. The way to really get involved is to come see Santa’s workshop in action. Email or call the group today (312) 344 3633.
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