December 7, 2017
In hopes of making the holidays brighter for teenagers and young boys and girls in crisis mode, Friars load up for annual “Letters to Santa” Program with Children’s Home and Aid agency.
Some 130 Secret Santas generously donated gifts to Fenwick's "Letters to Santa" Program this year. The packages are piling up outside the chapel.
Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is …
Fenwick student volunteers are making like elves, working to make 2017 Christmas wishes come true for children in crisis in and around the Chicago area. The problem is that with families in crisis, many children are taken from their homes right before the holidays and have not made ‘wish lists,’ according to Chicago-based Children’s Home and Aid. The agency adds that these children feel most neglected and alone, and are most in crisis, during the holidays.
A spokesperson from Children’s Home and Aid explains: “The last-minute Santa gifts are even more important, if possible, because those gifts go to children who come into our programs at the last minute, which means their family has fallen into crisis during the holidays – an already stressful time of the year! The kids that are coming into our foster care or other programs really need to know they are not alone, so the gifts the Fenwick community will provide will be a little touch of love and support during a very difficult time in a child’s life.”
Ms. Emily Anderson, Counselor for the Friars’ Sophomore Class of 2020, coordinates the “Letters to Santa” Program at Fenwick. “A gift at Christmas could mean so much,” she says. “This year, instead of buying for a specific child, we asked our students to choose an age group and purchase a gift that can be readily given to these children. Also, many of these children have not been able to be placed in the foster-care system right away, and so are spending the holidays in a group home.”
The unwrapped presents, which are piling up in the Student Services Dept., will be picked up (by sleigh?) on Friday morning. Thank you to the 130 students and school faculty/staff members who stepped up this year to put a smile on some sad, young faces this Holiday Season!