They didn’t ask for much from Santa Claus this year.
“My wish is to have a good Christmas with my friends and family…if you can, bring me [and my brother and sister] jackets because the wind is too cold and I don’t want them to get sick.”
“Things are OK and I am doing fine. I would like to say I love this time of year. It seems to bring smiles to people’s faces. For Christmas, I would like a coat and boots for the winter.”
“My name is Barbara…I am 10 years old, and I would like a pack of lead pencils.”
“Santa, please come to my house this Christmas. I want to see you. I love you.”
They’re simple requests from stacks of letters addressed to Santa by way of New York City’s 34th Street Old Navy. Like the Macy’s across the way, the street locale holds a special holiday sentiment, known for drawing letters like this from children this time of year.
But that doesn’t guarantee fulfilled wishes. That’s where Christopher Wolfe stepped in.
Christopher, Old Navy regional inventory planner for the New England region, grabbed the letters and decided to take on the role of ol’ Saint Nick.
“These children were asking for things as simple as winter coats, bedding and toys that could be shared amongst the family,” Christopher said. “I knew after reading them, we couldn’t let these children go unnoticed.”
With help from store managers and directors from New York, Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and North Carolina, the team went to work. They tackled the shopping together (much of it coming directly from Old Navy) and created an assembly line to wrap and ship all gifts, complete with signed notes from Santa.
“I can undoubtedly say that this was one of the most memorable moments of my ten-year career with Gap Inc., and that I have never been prouder to work here,” he said.
Maridee Serebrov, Area Manager, Boston North, added: “I actually get really choked up thinking about this….It brings me so much joy to think that this year these families will get up Christmas morning and open up a little bit of Old Navy magic-and I wrapped it!”
And ultimately it’s an experience the team is happy not to take credit for. As their Santa note goes, “Wishing you and your entire family a Very Merry Christmas! Never stop believing in miracles. Love, Santa Claus.”