Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Santa’s workshop shows up in Evanston

Santa is busy during the holiday season, but unfortunately many of the letters children send him go unanswered.

Because of this, Evanston native Richard Gentile founded Santa for a Day (SFAD), a public charity that collects letters from disadvantaged children and passes them on to donors who buy gifts for the children.

The charity now has a pop-up location in Evanston at 710 Church Street, the former location of Williams Shoes. Gentile, Mayor Biss and other community members celebrated the opening of the pop-up with a ribbon on November 19th.

The space was donated by Jim Nash, the property owner who was connected to Gentile with the help of Downtown Evanston. It is used as the headquarters and distribution center for gift wrapping. The windows were painted by local mural artist Teresa Parod, and the pop-up is in a high-traffic area that Gentile hopes will raise awareness about Santa for a Day.

Gentile got the idea for Santa for a Day more than twenty years ago when he walked into a post office on December 23rd. Letters to Santa Claus were on display, and after speaking with a clerk, Gentile discovered that the post office had over 10,000 letters, of which only about 100 were answered.

“It just broke my heart,” said Gentile. His children were young at the time and his home was boiling with “holiday magic,” making the unanswered letters particularly heartbreaking, he said. Then he came up with the idea of ​​Santa for a Day to help children on vacation.

“It’s really about connecting people with disposable income with retailers and children in need,” said Gentile. The charity works with the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) to reach out to underserved families.

Community members who want to donate or get involved can learn more at santaforaday.org.

Comments are closed.