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The Magic of Christmas 
About Santa Claus KC
Santa Claus -- KC is an all-volunteer organization providing anonymous last minute response to children's letters to Santa that would otherwise go unanswered. (We do not want to be a supplemental Christmas service.) We receive most of our requests after other organizations offering help at Christmas have completed their season.

Our Objectives:
Our only goal each year is to deliver gifts to each and every child who writes a letter requesting help. Thanks to the support of donors and volunteers, we will never leave a letter unanswered.

Fund Distribution:
We take pride in the fact that EVERY dollar donated to Santa Claus KC goes toward the cause. We do not pay for rental space, utilities, or help, and no individual or organization is compensated for services. Each and every dollar is used to purchase clothing, toys, batteries or wrapping paper.

Successes and Challenges:
Because we are a "last resort" organization, we seldom know in advance to what extent our help will be required. Most years we are making deliveries until late on Christmas Eve and many years we have run out of money requiring that we call on donors and volunteers with an urgent plea for help, always receiving whatever we require to complete the response to the letters.

THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE IDEA

Letters from children in need of help will be filling this space as we move forward and grow. But for now, I wanted to share a story that inspired me and helped me arrive at this point in my life. This is the story of Kathleen, a young girl from Canada, who wrote to Santa Claus on Dec. 20, 2005. She did not write asking for anything for herself, but rather she wrote to ask for help for her father.

Various ailments had left Kathleen's father, a former construction worker, unable to work and virtually confined to the family's home.

Kathleen's e-mail asked if Santa could bring her father a motorized wheel chair so that he could go outside and be with his children -- Kathleen and her older brother -- and spend quality time outside the house.

Quite frankly when I received this e-mail I was a bit skeptical. Is it a scam? Is someone trying to dupe Santa Claus? But for some reason I knew that this request was real, sincere and heartfelt.

I e-mailed Kathleen back so she would know that Santa read her e-mail. I told her that this was a pretty tall order for Santa, but that I would see what I could do.

But what could I do?  Never mind that we were in different countries and that I had no contacts in Canada or knew anyone that could possibly help Kathleen and her father.

As I desperately tried to come up with a solution -- any solution -- I could hear one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies, Miracle on 34th Street in my head. "The children must not be disappointed." 

It was spoken by Kris Kringle, played by Edmund Gwenn in the 1947 classic. That one sentence has always stuck with me and is the essence of Santa Claus and my work in his name.

I decided I needed to find civic organizations, charitable groups and anyone else I could think of in or near Kathleen's town and implore them for help.

In the meantime, I received an e-mail from Kathleen's mother, Kathy, who had no idea that her daughter, who was 8 years old at the time, had taken it upon herself to first, find Santa's Web site, and then e-mail her innocent request.

Kathy was very apologetic, if not a bit embarrassed by her daughter's actions. She was also stunned when I told her that Santa had every intention of doing whatever he could to make this wish come true.

I asked Kathy questions and got more background on the family and her husband's problems. They had applied months ago for assistance in obtaining a motorized wheel chair, but Kathy told me that in Canada it can be a long process in trying to get medical aid in these matters, if you were able to get any help at all.

I told Kathy that I would do whatever I could to help make Kathleen's wish come true, although I didn't know if I could pull it off by Dec. 25. Kathy was very appreciative of my intentions, but I can't believe she held out much hope.

I then decided my best chance to find groups that might be able to help was going to be with the help of my good friend Google and the Internet.

I was able to find the Web site for Kathleen's hometown, a list of local civic organizations and the town newspaper. Yes, the media would be key to getting the word out about the family's plight.

I sent e-mails to many groups and heard back from a few, but it was apparent that Santa would not be able to grant Kathleen's wish by Christmas. I stayed in touch with her through e-mail and told her I was doing my best, but I might not be able to grant her wish by Christmas.

She said she understood, but all I could hear was, "The children must not be disappointed."

After contacting the newspaper and explaining the situation, they told me and they would be interviewing the family and running a story. They also said if Santa was able to help the family get a new wheelchair, they would also do a followup story.

Christmas came and went and so did New Year's Day. No progress was being made and although I felt discouraged at times, I was not going to give up until Kathleen's father had a motorized wheel chair.

I exchanged e-mail to the Mayor of Kathleen's town, with the Knights of Columbus and others, but still, nothing was happening. Everyone was very nice on the phone and through e-mail, but still we weren't moving forward. Was this going to stretch into next Christmas?

No. Two nurses, who visited Kathleen's father weekly to help in his care had followed the story and Kathleen's request to Santa. Inspired, they helped speed up the paperwork for medical assistance and in February, a new motorized wheel chair was delivered to Kathleen's father.

Kathleen was thrilled and quickly e-mailed Santa to share the news. I told her that she should thank her father's nurses because they were the ones who helped him get a wheel chair, but Kathleen said she didn't know how I did it, but she knew that I had made sure her wish would come true.

Now, years later, Kathleen e-mails me every Christmas season. She has told me that because she received help when she needed it, she has been inspired to help others and volunteers at the local Salvation Army during the Christmas season. Her e-mail last Christmas brought me to tears when she told me that I would always be her Santa Claus.

This is why I chose to do whatever I can possibly do to come to the aid of those in need and I hope that you will be inspired to do the same.


Santa Claus KC 2014