Every Christmas, our office would purchase gifts for children whose parents couldn’t afford them.

Our goal was to buy what the children wanted in their Dear Santa letters, so we contacted a family shelter. Each year there seem to be certain items that are “in”: an electronic toy, a Hannah Montana comforter or something else.That particular year, we purchased rollerblades in specific sizes, after consulting with the parents, along with helmets and pads, and wrapped and labeled them. We also bought many other items: jackets, sweaters, boots, dolls.

After Christmas, we heard back from the shelter director, who recounted one story: A girl stood and took in the scene — the shelter children rollerblading on the street wearing their new gear on Christmas. Police had blocked off the street for them to enjoy their gifts.

The director stood next to this girl, who joyfully told her, “This is the best Christmas I’ve ever had!”

The director responded, “Is it because you received what you wanted?”

The girl answered: “I did get what I wanted, but that’s not the reason. It’s the first time in my life that I received gifts that had my name on them instead of Girl, Age 11.”

It’s been many years since this happened, and everyone in our office still responds to Dear Santa letters each year, but this story still brings tears to our eyes as we tell it to new employees.

Emma Lopo-Sullivan,


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