Santa For A Day helps fulfill holiday wishes for Chicago children in need

CHICAGO (WLS) -- "Santa For A Day" lets people who have help those who have not by linking the letters children write to Santa with online donors.

Those donors then help the man in red fulfill Christmas gift requests. As usual, the real gift in this effort seems to rest with those who do the giving.

Since November, children in Chicago Housing Authority homes have been writing Santa Claus for many things they want for Christmas.

The wishes are fulfilled online by supporters of Santa for a Day, a two-year-old nonprofit that puts on the letter-writing parties with the CHA. The nonprofit also organizes the gifts supporters buy on Amazon and has them delivered to all of those hopeful faces.

"Once we get the packages delivered, we come over here and we actually label all the gifts with the kids' name and their parents' name as well," said foreman Nathan Doo.

Volunteers from Chicago Hope Academy helped package and organize the never-ending stream of gifts over the weekend.

"There is a need in general and this is heartwarming for me," said volunteer Karma Anderson.

Rich Gentile is a former network sports television producer who started Santa for a Day. It's about partnering with the CHA to deliver the magic of Christmas. They'll answer 2,500 letters this year, 10,000 by 2021.

"The letters are so sweet they will say, here you know, I have been a really good girl in school, I've gotten great grades and I really don't need anything. Can you get something for my mom?" Gentile said.

He said it's important for "young kids to have a wish, to believe in something and see their wishes come true."

For more information about how to get involved, visit
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.