For seven years and still going, Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker have been the recipients of bags of letters during the Christmas season. Those letters are addressed to Santa Claus and are part of a global movement known as “Miracle on 22nd St.” that helps families in need.
This is no small cause that is being supported and even Hollywood has given it some well-deserved attention. In 2019, their story was adapted for the big screen, but they never expected the cause to take off in the first place. It all started when letters were appearing at their mailbox in a New York City apartment.
As Santas’s address is in the North Pole, this couple does not live in the same neighborhood as him. The previous tenants of the home where they live warned them about receiving the mail for at least five years prior.
According to PEOPLE, “They never answered them because it was only three or four letters a year. And the first two years I lived there, it was that exact thing. I’d get three letters and I didn’t really think anything of it. I was like, ‘Oh, sorry – wrong number.’”
Things took a turn in 2011 when 450 envelopes showed up at their house. Neither of the residents knew why the number had increased or how they were selected to be the recipients of the mail. One thing that was common in all of the letters, however, is that they were from families living in the city that were in need.
100 to go! 370 letters fulfilled! ONE LAST CALL for our biggest year yet! Take a letter and fulfill a family wish! I promise you'll feel amazing. www.miracleon22ndstreet.com
“These were our neighbors in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan… these were our people,” Glaub says, according to PEOPLE. “I just felt this need to help them.”
They decided that they would do what they could to fill every letter, going on social media and spreading the word through the use of a “Miracle on 22nd Street” Facebook group. When they did so, filmmaker friends Sarah Klein and Tom Mason saw the story and decided they would take things a step further using their production company, Redglass Pictures. The New York Times picked up the story later.
Years have passed and the letters still keep coming in. The couple has moved, but every holiday, they dedicate their time to ensure that the families get their wish. Every letter has been answered so far and people around the world do their part.
**10 Years of Miracles! **With the help of our generous elves, we've helped over **500 families **this year (the most we've ever had in a single year!) 🎁We couldn't have done it without the amazing elves in the workshop, Amanda, Selena, Ali, Joe, Ferry, Jeremy and Holly who worked tirelessly to make sure the new digital workshop was in working order. We are so grateful to our awesome donors who helped us get to the rest of the families, and will help us next year to build a better workshop to help more families… (and a potential expansion into other countries!)I know these are very hard times, but it's nice to know there are still so many good people out there in the world who want to help, who want to love, and who want to give back. My heart is full. ❤️It's time for some much needed rest with a helping of milk and cookies. We hand it over to the Boss! 🎅MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!Ho, Ho, Ho,Jim, Amanda, Selena, Ali, Joe, Ferry, Jeremy and Holly and the entire Miracle Team!
Posted by Jim Glaub on Wednesday, December 23, 2020
The letters are sometimes serious and at other times, may include illustrations. Various requests come in, including practical items, such as blankets, footwear, and clothing. On occasion, someone may ask for a video game console.
Although every letter is special, Glaub says that one, in particular, was like a “punch in the gut.” It was from a boy that was hoping Santa would bring him a bed.
Each letter is unique and gets a reply that is just as unique. Some participants are able to do what they can and others take care of all of the requests. In some cases, bonds are formed between the people writing the letters and those answering them.
The couple has since moved to London but the current tenants help with the letter collection every year and each of the letters is scanned. This year, officers at The Patrol Borough Brooklyn North passed an additional 140 letters in their direction.
Over 200 letters this year. New York, Iowa, Phillipines, Los Angeles, Italy, London, Guam, Saudi Arabia; elves from all over the world are connecting with complete strangers to make an amazing Christmas. My heart is so full. https://t.co/KZPgQljgTR pic.twitter.com/eWPBn81dzR
— 𝐉𝐢𝐦 𝐆𝐥𝐚𝐮𝐛 (@jimglaub) December 20, 2017
“It’s just so strange! It’s caused this global effort!” Glaub shared with PEOPLE. “We’ve had people from Hawaii to Alaska, Germany to London, Nicaragua, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo — all helping. I guess that’s the power of social media. Why would a woman from Abu Dhabi care about some family from Corona, Queens? It’s amazing.”
“I think that suggests we are all looking for that connection to something bigger,” Parker adds.
Glaub and Parker said that they will continue to do what they can to answer the letters as long as they keep coming in.SKM: below-content placeholder