Imagine if hundreds of letters to Santa started being mailed to your house for no reason. That’s what happened to one NYC couple who receive letters to Santa every November from kids in their area. But instead of tossing the letters out, this couple picked up some pen and paper and decided to write back.
Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker aren’t exactly sure how their 22nd street address became popularly known as the North Pole, or Santa’s address. When the couple moved into the Manhattan apartment, they were already aware that the previous tenant had been receiving the letters every November. But they weren’t that concerned because it was only a couple of letters. But as the years went by, the number of letters started to grow. They received 450 letters from hopeful kids waiting for a response from the Big Man in Red—all from addresses nearby.
Some kids wrote to Santa asking for things for their siblings, some ask for clothes, others for nothing at all. One kid even wrote: “Oh and I was hoping if you could keep in mind the homeless man under the bridge and keep him safe, warm and healthy this upcoming year.”
Jim and Dylan couldn’t just ignore the letters, so they became Santa’s little helpers. They started a Facebook page called Miracle on 22nd Street to recruit volunteers. The couple sends the volunteer a letter at random, and the volunteer responds to the child who wrote it, fulfilling the letter by sending a gift.
Thanks to the Internet and a short film by Redglass Pictures, Glaub and Parker’s project has been going on for six years—and no letter has gone unanswered. The couple now lives in London, England, but they still run Miracle on 22nd Street and work with the current tenants to ensure every kid gets a response from “Santa.”
Watch Redglass’s film, published on The New York Times, here: