Santa For A Day Program Looking For Help, Donations This Holiday Season

Help give a gift to a child in CHA housing

Bernie Tafoya
December 06, 2018 - 1:27 pm

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The organizer of the Santa For A Day program is looking for some generous Santas to help fill Christmas wishes for needy kids this year.  

Independent TV producer Rich Gentile has held the Santa For A Day program for several years. This year, 1,700 children who live in CHA housing will get their Christmas wishes. 

About a month ago, the CHA had young children write letters to Santa and then collected the letters and inputted the wish list requests on the website. 

Among the letters was one from 12-year-old Taneah who wrote to Santa:  “First and for most I appreciate anything you want me to have.” 

Her wish list includes a mini laptop, school supplies and a warm blanket. 

Another sample letter to Santa is from Shauniyah. No age is listed for her and she writes: 

Dear Santa Claus,

I don’t know if you remember me, but can you get these three things for me for Christmas? I would like some pajamas, a McDonald’s gift card and some earrings. If you could get that, it would mean so much to me and that’s all I want.  

Shauniya goes on to list her size for the pajamas.

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Gentile started the program as a way to connect needy kids with people who want to help out, but can't go to the post office to pick up letters to Santa there.

People can go to the website to buy specific gifts and they’ll be delivered to those children the week of Dec. 17.

"Otherwise, there’d be a lot of kids with nothing under the tree and, it’s great we’re going to make Christmas happen for a lot of the kids," he said. 

"Every kid will get something."