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Deb's Desk: Santa Letters


Ho, ho, ho, Chrimby quangels...

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again at SCOUT Bags HQ—Santa Letters! Nothing says "Happy Holidays," like searching for the perfect gifts, scouring Target for the coolest toys, wrapping up those bad boys with shiny paper and pretty ribbons, and spreading cheer like nobody’s watching.

Last week the SCOUT Team joined forces to wrap their "Santa Family" presents while eating mountains of Ledo’s pizza (we like to keep our holiday weight up, OK!?). After knocking out the wrapping and face-stuffing, several of our fabulous coworkers delivered all the Christmas treasures to our precious families in the greater DC/MD/VA areas.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with our yearly holiday project, "Santa Letters," allow me to elaborate. While living in New York, Deb Johns noticed the post office was leaving out stacks of letters mailed to Santa and started opening the letters after realizing they were sent by under-served families nearby. Upon further investigation, Deb learned her company, Fashion Group International, participated in the post office's program for these elusive "Santa Letters" and started off shopping for one family.

After moving to DC, she wondered if local neighborhoods were sending letters as well and inspired her to start her own Santa delivery with letters from low-income families in the greater DC and Maryland community. Deb saw a need to help kids and families celebrate the Christmas holidays the way they should be celebrated, because Christmas should be a special time for everyone. But, she's also very aware of the man power involved with meeting these yearly expectations.

Now, everyone knows when Deb is turning on her fax machine and as soon as she does, the letters start pouring in. After the bomb threats and anthrax scares completely disrupted the postal system, Deb made the smart conversion to fax. The first day of DC public schools marks the start of Santa Letter submissions. As her own children grew up and began making new friends, having new teachers and participating in different activities, Deb took hold of the opportunity to expand her network of volunteers and, at one point, was accepting up to 300 letters.

This weekend Deb, Elizabeth Bailey, Sally Wiebe, and Mary Jo Slidell hopped in their sleigh(AYYY)s to deliver our Santa Family gifts to their new, loving homes. Mary Jo brought her sweetest elves, Anna (10) and the twins, John and Hallie (12) to help with gift delivery and spend some quality time with our precious Santa Families and friends. After delivering to their four sponsored families, MJ received a text saying, "Thank you so much. It was so nice to meet you and your family! We really appreciate everything. They are so happy! Happy holidays from me and my family!" From our SCOUT family to yours, we’d like the chance to say (in the words of the greatest employees ever—Chick Fil A), "It’s our PLEASURE!"

Nothing makes our hearts happier than knowing these amazing people had the opportunity to connect. Seeing photos of these holiday cuties delivering buckets of cheer and love to these beautiful families. Honestly, my Christmas is MADE after knowing the holidays were in the hands of these amazing humes. The Team was able to make a big and very special difference in the holidays, so thank you to everyone who plays a part in making this possible.

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