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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dear Santa - Muskegon Teens Help Answer The Timeless Letters - Maybe This Story is Best For Grown Up's

For years, there has been a "Letters to Santa" drop off box in Roosevelt Park.  Local youngsters put their Christmas list down and send it off in the hopes that St. Nick will hear their plea and bring them what they wish for at Christmas.  For the longest time, all the letters were answered by one woman. Ann Wisnewski. 
Today, it takes a group to to handle it and you'll get a chance to meet them here.

Now, let me say that we prefaced this story saying it's for grown up's because there's a magic about the whole subject of Santa.  We certainly don't want to spoil that for young-in's, but we wanted you to see too, that other young people are stepping up to preserve a tradition and some of that innocence in a world of ever increasing cynicism, accusations and polarization.  As much as us grown up's all know Santa, maybe it's time to remember what Santa really stands for.

Santa is the belief that there is good in the world.  Santa is the embodiment of what we hope and dream about.  We stay on the straight and narrow and we hope Santa notices.  Santa brings the unattainable.  If we long for hard to find toys in our youth or things that just can't be afforded any other day of the year...somehow that Christmas Miracle happens and Santa did it.  As grown up's we hope Santa brings things like a day of peace, a little time with friends and family, maybe a break from bills.  We hope for good tidings and joy and we strive to protect our little ones and we allow them to believe because once innocence is's gone for good.  We go the extra mile for the kids too because we desperately hope that even though they may never see Santa coming down the chimney, we want them to know that the good in the world he represents is there, albeit illusive most of the time.   Santa is safe to confide in, you can tell him a secret, you can ask for an indulgence or you can go to bat for your parents or siblings.  You can ask for a sack of toys, a pony, a puppy or maybe that your grandma up in heaven has a Merry Christmas.  It's really a shame that Santa only comes once a year.

Well, with all that in mind, Ms. Helmer at Mona Shores High School has a leadership class made up of students who strive to get into it.  They are young people who are determined to make a difference in their school and community for now, and who knows...maybe some day the world.  In the weeks leading up to Christmas, these young people volunteer their time to hand write all the letters and get them back to the kids who dropped them off.  I'd like you to meet Connor, Leanna, Erin and Chloe and hear their story about what they read in the letters to Santa and what they learn by answering....well, "help" answer.

I'd like to take a moment to congratulate these young people and thank them for their time and effort to jump in and take the initiative to keep that thought that there is good in the world.  You know...there really is good in the's in all of us.  It's up to every one of us to remember that it doesn't take a just takes a caring hand.  It takes a moment of compassion.  Follow the example of these distinguished young helpers of the miracle like they are!  This is what makes Muskegon so special.  This is why I love this community and all the people in it!

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