Playing Santa This Holiday Season

Just a few of many bags of gifts for some very special kids

Every Holiday season I rally my family, friends and business together to do something special for under privileged children. It's important that we all do what we can to help our brothers and sisters out and make our world a better place for all of us, and I ask a fair amount of my friends, family and community year round when it comes to charitable contributions, and I always donate a portion of every sale from my clothing label, Disco Panda, to benefit women and children around the globe. But the Holidays are an especially special time built around love and giving, and those close to me as well as those that purchase from my businesses love to show up in a big way for children during the Holidays. I was so excited to have received hundreds of dollars from friends and family, and have been able to donate hundreds more from sales from Disco Panda, which made it possible to give 20 less fortunate children the Holiday they deserve!

There are so many children that go without any gifts at all over the Holidays, leaving both the parents and the children heartbroken. I think of Christmas as a child myself.  I loved the Holiday season- my Christmas tree all lit up, the vintage train that ran on a track around it and the presents wrapped so beautiful stacked underneath. And waking up on Christmas morning, looking down from the hallway upstairs into the living room and seeing all the unwrapped presents waiting for me and my siblings that Santa had brought us. Santa always answered our letters and our gift wishes. It breaks my heart to think of all the children that don't have the happy Holiday I was so fortunate to have. So many children don't receive anything from Santa and believe that they have not been "good" enough to make it on Santa's "nice list". I think of them having to go to school and listen to their friends tell each other excitedly about their new toys, then having to break the news that they received nothing for the Holidays. 

This year, I worked on Operation Santa through an incredible operation that adopts letters that underprivileged children have written to Santa asking. Operation Santa's volunteers, or Elves, fulfill the children's wishes and ensure that Santa's gifts arrive to their home. In select areas, the public can also adopt a letter a participating post office, buy the gifts and bring them back to be delievered the the children's homes. If you don't have a participating post office in your area, please donate to Be An Elf to help them continue their amazing work.

I read so many heartbreaking but beautiful letters- 7 year old Kailee wrote that all she wanted for Xmas was for her baby brother to have new winter shoes. Camille wrote that she just wanted Santa to bring something for her mother, who was always sad because she couldn't pay the bills. Tyvonne had to give up his dog because they couldn't afford to keep him, and just wanted a stuffed puppy to hold.

I am always so moved and humbled by how brave, resilient, strong & selfless children are, and I am so grateful to be able to bring my family and my businesses together to help give these special babes the Holiday they deserve. I will be thinking about each of them on Christmas morning, opening their dream gifts and reading their personal letters from Santa himself, praising their hard work and compassion and asking them to continue to work hard, reach for the stars and spread love.

Happy Holidays!!
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