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“It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can seriously help another without helping himself.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am sure you are very much aware of the tremendous financial hardships many families are experiencing. These hardships are particularly acute during the holiday season, especially for families with young children. For them, the spirit of the holiday season seems to only shed more light on their already difficult situation.

Since 1989, The Dear Santa Society has succeeded in giving some of these families a helping hand during the holiday season. We are a non-profit organization committed to helping families with young children.

A special group of volunteers raise money to buy food, new clothing and toys to bring the spirit of Christmas to life for these families.

On December 7, 1989, I read a newspaper article about the "Dear Santa" letters that the post office receives each year during the holidays. I was struck by the words and thoughts of the children in their letters. I had never taken time to consider that so many children don't have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas, as I remember it. I wondered what I could do to help some of these children.

With the help and support of a few family members and friends, we raised $1,000 in 5 days and helped 8 families with 25 children that year. We purchased toys and games for each child, as well as some new clothing and included food baskets for their families.

Since then, we have opened Dear Santa chapters in South Jersey (1995) and Northwest Ohio (2008). Across all chapters, we have raised over half a million dollars and helped over 5,000 children in over 1,600 families.

James Szalejko