Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Be Santa To A Student

From a reader:

"I am an Uptown resident and I am trying to distribute Dear Santa letters from Chicago elementary school students to people who will fulfill the child's request in the letter.  I have some from Stewart School in Uptown and will be picking up some letters this weekend from Henry Elementary, near Kimball and Montrose.

I obtain the letters from Direct Effect Charities, a Chicago non-profit organization that helps people to directly assist children from low-income families in Chicago Public Schools. Over 98% of the students at Stewart Elementary come from low-income families and a majority of the families are homeless and living in area shelters. I am not otherwise affiliated with Direct Effect.

I have been distributing Dear Santa letters for over ten years among my friends and family and this year I decided to try to expand my reach. I have distributed over 230 letters from other schools so far.

If you would like a letter (or multiple letters!), please e-mail your mailing address to me at sat2007mail-sat@yahoo.com and I will mail you a letter. You are then asked to spend $25 on a gift for the child. You will need to deliver the gift to the school (the address is in the letter) by December 19. Thank you so much! And please spread the word! I think the charity has nearly 300 letters coming in from this school so it would be great to distribute all of them!"


  1. It's a terrific program, getting nice presents for CPS kids whose families might not be able to buy everything on the kid's wish list. It breaks my heart when a kid asks for something practical like gloves.

    The Post Office usually has a bin of Santa letters that people can pick from. There's no $25 limit on those, so if you're looking to help a mom get gifts or coats for all of her kids, that's another option. (Unless the USPS has discontinued this program...)

  2. I used to do the "letters to Santa" through the Sun-Times and once I had a kid ask for "a big blanket." Heart-breaking. Or they would ask for toys, but the teacher would write on the bottom of the letter that the kid didn't have a winter coat or boots and give the sizes needed.

  3. I already requested 2 letters, and friends of mine in different neighborhoods have also requested letters. I would LOVE to hear that all the Santa letters in this program were fulfilled!!

  4. Thank you so much for the amazing response! I sent out 397 Santa letters this year and many of them were from Uptown Update readers. Amazing!

    Direct Effect Charities has distributed all letters this year. But you can still help! Direct Effect is still accepting extra gifts to have on hand to cover gifts that don't make it to the school for one reason or another. To find out how to donate extra gifts, please call Direct Effect Charities at 312-296-5311.

    Thank you so much for your generosity. I'll be back again next year. I hope to focus on schools in the 46th ward next year. In the meantime, you can like my Facebook page "Dear Santa Letters Chicago" to stay updated. You can also visit my website next fall at www.dearsantaletterschicago.weebly.com.