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‘Elf’ man has been replying to children’s Santa letters for 11 years


Rob Thompson
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‘Elf’ man has been replying to children’s Santa letters for 11 years

Source - Metro News

Tom Williams

Date - 24 -12 - 2021

A man who responds to Santa letters that randomly started to arrive at his apartment has said he’s started to see signs of hope returning this Christmas.

PRC_214105682.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&z

Jim Glaub co-founded the not-for-profit ‘Miracle on 22nd Street’ with then partner Dylan Parker when hundreds of messages began inexplicably arriving at their home in New York.

The letters, whose origins are still unclear, told of the hopes and dreams of local children from nearby Brooklyn and the Bronx, many of whom were facing hardships during the festive season.

After receiving more than 400 letters in their first Christmas at the address on 22nd Street in Chelsea in 2010, the pair recruited friends and family to help respond to those writing in.

The initiative has now gone online with a website and Facebook group, allowing hundreds of volunteers, known as ‘elves’ to write back to those in need.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Jim, whose day job is in Broadway productions, said people’s letters have been more positive this year – although many were written before the arrival of the Omicron variant.

New York is in the grips of uncertainty again after a steep rise in cases of the new variant but, before this, Jim said the letters told of people looking forward to family Christmases.

‘I like to read all the letters and I can almost tell you what’s going on in the wider world every year, based on what’s in them,’ he said.
Jim and Dylan decided to respond to some of the letters turning up at their door
‘One might say “my father’s coming out of an opioid addiction” or “we got hit by the pandemic, my grandma got Covid.”

‘Every year the letters directly reflect what’s going on in the world, and also things like what the hottest toy is.

‘Last year most had been hit by Covid and they didn’t have healthcare or their parents had lost their job and couldn’t afford to do XX.

‘Mostly this year it seems like it is better, even tonally it seems like it’s better. People are really desperate to just be with their family, there’s more of a lightness to it than there was in the previous years.’


Jim and Dylan estimate they responded to around 500 letters last year and are hoping to do a similar number this time around.

They hope their new digital tools will help them branch out to help more children, and hope to launch next year in London – where Dylan now lives.

Both moved out of the apartment several years ago but have kept in touch with whoever has taken on the lease, and the letters continue to arrive on cue every Christmas.

They’ve still not been able to figure out the reason behind the annual deluge with one theory links the address to the author Clement Clarke Moore who wrote the poem The Night Before Christmas and used to live nearby.

Men who started getting random letters for Santa reply to every single one
Jim Glaub, a co-founder of Miracle on 22nd Street, is hoping to help more families in future
It has long been rumoured that the story will be made into a movie, with Saturday Night Live star Tina Fey involved in developing a script.

‘We left (the apartment) three years after the thing blew up and moved to London’, Jim said.

‘But we kept in touch with all the people who have lived there. So far there has been five different leases since then. It’s now a really fancy neighbourhood.

‘The letters still come, we still don’t know why. Everyone who lives there is like “this is super weird.” It is like a movie. Even the landlord is this crotchety guy who’s like “don’t answer the letters, we’ve got to stop this”.’

Jim said occasionally some of the elves do some investigating and manage to track down some of the people they are responding to.

The letters can often come from people who are spending Christmas in shelters or other difficult situations.

‘It can be really sad, you sometimes have to have a tough skin’, he said. ‘The letters that come in from these families are devastating.

‘But it is so awesomely fulfilling and every year it puts things into perspective and shows me how lucky and fortunate I am.

‘The stories of these people, some of them you can’t even believe it. You think “Can’t they get a break?” Some of them are really really tough.

PRI_214105473.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&z 

‘At least we are able to do something that connects them to a little bit of joy. Every year, we’ve been able to provide these amazing memories for these families and that’s something really special that you take with you for the rest of your life. It makes you a better person.

‘It’s about community and that’s really been the coolest thing about this. There’s a few who have joined who actually started 10 years ago as a kid and now they are in the system as elves and they are adopting families. When you do this for so long you get to see those nice little circles.’

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Just now, Rob Thompson said:

‘Elf’ man has been replying to children’s Santa letters for 11 years

Source - Metro News

Tom Williams

Date - 24 -12 - 2021

A man who responds to Santa letters that randomly started to arrive at his apartment has said he’s started to see signs of hope returning this Christmas.

PRC_214105682.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&z

Jim Glaub co-founded the not-for-profit ‘Miracle on 22nd Street’ with then partner Dylan Parker when hundreds of messages began inexplicably arriving at their home in New York.

The letters, whose origins are still unclear, told of the hopes and dreams of local children from nearby Brooklyn and the Bronx, many of whom were facing hardships during the festive season.

After receiving more than 400 letters in their first Christmas at the address on 22nd Street in Chelsea in 2010, the pair recruited friends and family to help respond to those writing in.

The initiative has now gone online with a website and Facebook group, allowing hundreds of volunteers, known as ‘elves’ to write back to those in need.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Jim, whose day job is in Broadway productions, said people’s letters have been more positive this year – although many were written before the arrival of the Omicron variant.

New York is in the grips of uncertainty again after a steep rise in cases of the new variant but, before this, Jim said the letters told of people looking forward to family Christmases.

‘I like to read all the letters and I can almost tell you what’s going on in the wider world every year, based on what’s in them,’ he said.
Jim and Dylan decided to respond to some of the letters turning up at their door
‘One might say “my father’s coming out of an opioid addiction” or “we got hit by the pandemic, my grandma got Covid.”

‘Every year the letters directly reflect what’s going on in the world, and also things like what the hottest toy is.

‘Last year most had been hit by Covid and they didn’t have healthcare or their parents had lost their job and couldn’t afford to do XX.

‘Mostly this year it seems like it is better, even tonally it seems like it’s better. People are really desperate to just be with their family, there’s more of a lightness to it than there was in the previous years.’


Jim and Dylan estimate they responded to around 500 letters last year and are hoping to do a similar number this time around.

They hope their new digital tools will help them branch out to help more children, and hope to launch next year in London – where Dylan now lives.

Both moved out of the apartment several years ago but have kept in touch with whoever has taken on the lease, and the letters continue to arrive on cue every Christmas.

They’ve still not been able to figure out the reason behind the annual deluge with one theory links the address to the author Clement Clarke Moore who wrote the poem The Night Before Christmas and used to live nearby.

Men who started getting random letters for Santa reply to every single one
Jim Glaub, a co-founder of Miracle on 22nd Street, is hoping to help more families in future
It has long been rumoured that the story will be made into a movie, with Saturday Night Live star Tina Fey involved in developing a script.

‘We left (the apartment) three years after the thing blew up and moved to London’, Jim said.

‘But we kept in touch with all the people who have lived there. So far there has been five different leases since then. It’s now a really fancy neighbourhood.

‘The letters still come, we still don’t know why. Everyone who lives there is like “this is super weird.” It is like a movie. Even the landlord is this crotchety guy who’s like “don’t answer the letters, we’ve got to stop this”.’

Jim said occasionally some of the elves do some investigating and manage to track down some of the people they are responding to.

The letters can often come from people who are spending Christmas in shelters or other difficult situations.

‘It can be really sad, you sometimes have to have a tough skin’, he said. ‘The letters that come in from these families are devastating.

‘But it is so awesomely fulfilling and every year it puts things into perspective and shows me how lucky and fortunate I am.

‘The stories of these people, some of them you can’t even believe it. You think “Can’t they get a break?” Some of them are really really tough.

PRI_214105473.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&z 

‘At least we are able to do something that connects them to a little bit of joy. Every year, we’ve been able to provide these amazing memories for these families and that’s something really special that you take with you for the rest of your life. It makes you a better person.

‘It’s about community and that’s really been the coolest thing about this. There’s a few who have joined who actually started 10 years ago as a kid and now they are in the system as elves and they are adopting families. When you do this for so long you get to see those nice little circles.’

Love these stories, lifts the heart :) 

 

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I agree these are amazing true tails of joy and spreading the spirit of Christmas! Just a simple letter or note, or even a nod can be amazing for kids and adults alike. I was traveling to one gig and a couple of ladies saw me, passed me, then slowed down to come back and see Santa as well as wave at him and see what he would do. When I returned their smiles, waves, and all- they lit up and were so excited! Then, just last night, I had my last visit and was spotted by a dad who quickly pointed waived and got everyone in the car to waive at Santa! That magic is expanding!

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