As featured in South Bays Neighbor newspaper:
Help Mrs. Claus is a non-profit organization located here on Long Island that was started by Jennifer Scully. In December of 2010, this single mom of a 5 year old daughter had only $38 in the bank. However. her bills were paid, there was food in their fridge and she was able to get her daughter some presents to open on Christmas morning. Times were tough, but she felt a sense of gratitude.
Jennifer wanted to help others during this difficult time because giving back always mends the soul. In hopes of spreading cheer and generosity instead of focusing on her less-than-perfect situation, she reached out to the Harlem Dowling West Side Center for Children and Family Services. She asked if any of their children had written letters to Santa, and if so, if they needed help answering a letter to make the child’s wish come true.
They indeed did have letters, 30 of them. However, they didn’t have the resources to fulfill the children’s wishes. Jennifer received the details of each and every letter, feeling excited about potentially helping these children and she let them know she would see what she could do to help. After she hung up the phone she cried, knowing she couldn’t afford to help them all. Not wanting to disappoint anyone, she turned to social media and found help from family, friends and even some strangers. Two days later, Jennifer was able to deliver an entire SUV full of Christmas cheer for all of the children who wrote to Santa, and Help Mrs. Claus was born!
Each year, Help Mrs. Claus receives anywhere from 160-550 letters to Santa from underprivileged children living in the five boroughs and on Long Island. The children are all handed-selected by their social workers to participate in this special program.
Help Mrs. Claus then hosts a letter reading party the Saturday before Halloween to allow donors and volunteers to read through letters so each person can select a child or children they would like to shop for. At a later date, all of the gifts are collected, labelled and wrapped at a fun wrapping party and are then delivered directly to the children at a holiday party, hosted by Mrs. Claus.
The current pandemic has resulted in many parents being out of work and a lot of local food pantries running low on food. Now, for the first time ever, Help Mrs. Claus has seen children asking for food. This heartbreaking reality has inspired Jennifer to try and give each child a minimum of one bag filled with non-perishable food items, along with the gift(s) they will receive from her non-profit. With so many children in need, Help Mrs. Claus needs your help to make their wishes come true.
Looking to lend a helping hand?
Due to the current pandemic, there was not a letter reading party, there will not be a wrapping party and the gifts and food items will be distributed at a drive-through party at the Hispanic Counseling Center in Hempstead.
The letters have arrived on October 18th and the deadline for gift drop-offs is December 1st.* If you would like to see a letter and grant a child’s wish and/or donate food items, you can! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 516.695.9921 to get started.
The drive-through party will be held on December 12th with a rain/snow date of December 19th.**
Additionally, if you would like to donate monetarily to support the mission of this non-profit, you can do so on their website at helpmrsclaus.com. Every year, Jennifer takes money out of her own pocket to cover expenses because she truly believes in the motto that “No child gets left behind.” Any donation amount will be very appreciated!
Updates as of 11/23/2020
*The new deadline for gift drop-offs is December 8th.
**There will be no drive-through event.