Editorial: A call to Santa's helpers

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As you settle in this weekend for Thanksgiving leftovers, holiday shopping or television binge watching, think for a minute about your favorite Christmas gifts from your childhood.

Depending on your age, it could have been Mr. Potato Head, a Space Invaders video game, a Barbie or Batman toy. Children of the 1990s might remember Tickle Me Elmo, Talking Barney and Super Nintendo sets. Or, maybe you received a pair of boots that thrilled you because your feet no longer had to get wet and cold from trudging to school through snow.

We can tell you that today Legos, Batman and warm winter boots are still big with kids.

We’ve been readings letters from Chicago kids who have written to Santa through the Sun-Times Charity Trust’s “Letters to Santa” program. Please join us in making the holidays brighter for thousands of needy kids in our area by shopping for a child or making a donation.


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We’re pretty sure the kids’ letters to Santa will melt his heart.

Jeffrey, a third-grader, writes: “Hi, Santa. How are you doing? Is it cold in the North Pole? How are the elves doing? Is it a lot of work in the North Pole? Is it snowing? If it isn’t too much to ask you, Santa, could you get me any kind of Legos or Walkie Talkies or a Tracer racer car?”

From a third-grader, Zuleyma: “How is Ms. Claus? What does your house look like? This year I really but really, really want and need some cozy boots for the winter. And an Ever After High Doll.”

From a second-grader, Gianna: “How was your summer? Thank you for the presents last year. You were nice enough to give me presents for Christmas. Can I please have a pair of shoes? Can I please have Shopkins? Thank you, Santa! I love you!”

Last year generous readers provided gifts to 10,555 children from low-income families. Others chipped in with monetary donations, and that helped raise $34,000 for last-minute gifts for kids who otherwise would have received none. The Sun-Times Charity Trust identifies needy young kids, usually from pre-kindergarten to third grade, through Chicago Public Schools as well as city and south suburban shelters and nonprofit organizations.

We need your help to make this program bigger and better this year for disadvantaged kids. You can never have too many helpers for Santa.

Please go online at www.suntimes.com/santa or call 312-321-3114 to request a child’s letter that can be sent to you by mail or email. You can buy a gift for $25 to $30 and send it to a child or maybe you can afford to play Santa for two. Or, you can support the program with a donation, and Santa’s helpers will do the shopping.

In giving a gift, maybe you’ll remember that special gift that made you jump up and down with excitement. Or, maybe you know the pain of not having anything to open on Christmas and don’t want another child to feel the sadness of an empty day.

If you’re in a position to make a child’s Christmas wish come true, please do.

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