Every year we learn more about how the Elves & More Christmas Program touches people's lives. Sometimes the experiences involve impacts on volunteers' lives from the volunteering experience, other times volunteers are touched by something seen or said in the neighborhoods. The stories are as varied as the individuals involved. Some are interesting, others are heartbreaking, and more than a few are profound. In this section we share some of what we've learned along the way. Enjoy!
If you have a story you'd like to share, post it to Share a Story and we'll try to include it here. We reserve the right to edit stories for brevity, clarity, and public sensitivities.
We categorize our stories two ways:
- Postcards from the Edge -- In their own hand, children tell their stories to Santa
- Community Report -- Feedback from neighborhood parents and apartment managers
Postcards from the Edge:In their own hand, children tell their stories to Santa.
Each bike included a stamped postcard pre-addressed to Santa, care of Elves & More, and asked the children to write about their Christmas experience. The following quotations are taken from handwritten postcards returned by the children. All spelling and punctuation is preserved intact and all last names, addresses and phone numbers have been omitted to preserve privacy.Click here and here for postcards from children receiving Elves & More bikes in 2008.
Grandkids'I Thank you for helping my grandkids all girls ages 9, 11, 12, 13, 14 God Bless you See you next Christmas Thanks'
If you ever need help'God Bless you in Jesus name My Name is DeMarcus G and I was very much moved when I seen what you all did this pass Christmas and I just want to let you Know that I love you all and Jesus Does too with all our heart and if you ever need help with any thing you can reach me at [address]'
Don't deserve anything nice'I Like my Bike but I don't take care of it or any thing Else I own. I am mean and nasty at 16 and don't deserve anything nice. Bike has Been on a Flat 10 weeks' (We sent a letter of strong encouragement and $10 to get her flat tires repaired.)
Unable to buy'This is the first Christmas I was not able to buy for my girls. This is Ashley's mom, and I would like to personnelly Thank you for giving my Ashley a bright Christmas As always, God is faithful.'
Mona [or Mom]
Bright Christmas'This is Erin's mom, I want to personnelly thank you for making my daughters Christmas a bright one. This is the 1st Christmas I was not able to do for my girls. As always God came through.' (This is the same author as the preceding one, but apparently she wrote one postcard for each daughter.)
Dreams'Thank you for the bike it was a very nice gift and it made my dearms come true this year. Thank you!'
Dear Santa'Dear Santa thanks you for getting me the bike when you had to when youget these lettes please write me back I Love you santa From Iesha W and my mom name is Nicole'
Nice'It was nice and thanks for the bike!!!!'
Again'My Holiday was nice and thank you for the bikes because that was a great gift hope you had a great Holiday hope you come next year From Jasmine [address] Please come back'
Remember day'Thank you for visiting [address] It was a remember day for every body that was a blessing from God. Thank You a God Bless Please visit us again'
Long time'Dear Santa, I just want to say thank you for giving me a bike for Christmas. I was so happy when I got it because I haven't have a bike in along time.'
Dream came true'THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR THE BICYCLES I WANTED A BIKE AND MY DREAM CAME TRUE. I RIDE MY BIKE EVERY DAY AND I LOVE IT. I LOVE SANTA TOO THANKS! THANKS! THANKS!'
Preston J, 3rd Grade
Getto’s'Santa Claus did visit The Getto's for Christmas. Thank you for my Bike'
Wonderful'My Expirience reciving a wonderful bicicle this year was great. Thank you to all of you or you for making my Christmas as great as possible Thanks.'
Feliz Navidad'Gracias' (on same card as previous one)
Heaven Sent'My Holiday was so blessed when you came along and brightened my daughters Christmas. You were heaven sent God Bless You All. Words can't express how much I thank you.'
Not in 12 years'I like to thank you all so very much. yall have made a lot of kids very Happy this xmas with their bikes that you given out at Copper tree Apts a lot of kids didn' have nothing for Xmas and that was a blessing for the kids of 12 years I bean her no one had every did nothing like that for the kids so I am thanking all of you for that thank you so much to put smile on the kids faces god Bless you all'
Almost didn't'Thank you for all you have done. My Christmas was truly blessed. I almost didn't get anything. #Thank. You# [smile sign]'
Community Report:Feedback from neighborhood parents and apartment managers.
Different'Let me tell you what happened this year. Normally at Christmas-time many get drunk or high; some husbands beat their wives and some parents abuse their kids. Burglary and vandalism go through the roof. This year was different; that didn't happen, because of what you people did. Thank you!'
Manager. Kelley Village Apts.
Reported by Veon M.
Alive'Lord, this neighborhood is alive now! We've never seen so many happy kids. And these are good kids here. God has sure blessed them this year.'
Reported by David M.