Dear friends and supporters,
Thank you for your support in bringing smiles to thousands of children in Los Angeles. If any of you (living in the LA area) would like to do your own shopping and purchase the gift yourself, please make sure the letter is NOT ADOPTED first. You can put the letter on hold with us before you do your shopping, so please let us know in advance at: info@adoptaletter,org and one of us can arrange pick up or a drop-off location.
Another thing to know, I personally do all the shopping myself so I usually spend around 10 hours a day going to discount stores such as Ross, Target, Costco and little mom and pop toy stores. I found a great store on Lincoln in Santa Monica called "House of Toys". They love our program and if you want to shop there, occasionally they will let you negotiate if you buy more than 7 or 8 items.... but you didn't hear that from me! :) Sometime they may throw in free stuff if you say you are shopping for Adopt A Letter or you may have to describe my program since they don't speak English. If you speak Chinese you may score more points with them! ;)
Also I "DO NOT" wrap any of the gifts that I buy or given to us from our toy drives. As a parent, you wouldn't want a stranger coming to your door and handing your child a wrapped gift as it would probably scare them as too what's inside the package, so what I do is get a big open box and wrap the outside of the box instead. I then put all your unwrapped presents inside, then add colorful ribbons and bows to make it look festive, colorlful, fun and exciting.
Since we want the kids to get the most out of their Christmas presents, we are thankful to have a variety of companies and organizations who are now creating their own ADOPT A LETTER toy drives around town to benefit our program. This actually makes it more inexpensive for our donors when you adopt online because you buy less. I use the toy drive items collected as box-stuffers to make the box look bigger and more exciting. So in the special box we may add extra dolls, school supplies, stuff animals, coloring books, reading books, candy canes etc. Occasionally someone may bring us a bag of used clothes and i will save in the back of my car for a family that really needs it. The parents are usually very appreciative with what we give them. These toy drives make it easier for all of us because we only ask you to adopt the main gift and we can try to fill in the boxes from there.
When it comes to taking care of these kids, I prefer to get them toys and clothes that will last more than a year or 2 as I could never show up with only 1 present for a child. I usually like to get multiple gifts and if for some reason we may end up with more funds left over, I like to buy or get something for the parents from Santa especially if I see they are really struggling and need a lot of help and support. The parents usually cry when we do this... and so do we!! :(
Some of these letters start at $15 and may go up to $500 or more for an entire family. If all the low cost presents are adopted and you really want to adopt and can only afford to give $10, $20 or $30, then go to the "DONATE" button.... This helps us out immensely because we can use this to buy blankets, more backpacks, school supplies and educational products, toys, extra baby clothes etc AND most of the time, the child that wrote the letter to Santa never mentioned his little brother or sister and even some cousins living with them. We NEED to be prepared to have presents ready to go as this is usually the case, otherwise the other children feel forgotten! This is when the school supplies come in handy, extra soccer balls, skateboards etc.
One more thing...although it's a lot of work, I will try and take photos of every family and will also try to use twitter so you an see a photo of your family. So please try and remember their name or letter number to make it easier for me. If the kids are not home, we will leave it with the parents or whoever opens the door and always make sure they say it's from Santa.
If any of you would like to get on the list and be my elf for the day, I can surely use the help reading letters, uploading letters, scanning letters, picking up and wrapping boxes, deliveries etc.. I can only take a limited amount of people with me because when we arrive the entire neighborhood knows what we're up to and all the neighborhood kids will run up to us and ask for presents and it's hard for me to turn them down.
If you have any questions or any great ideas to share and help us improve our program, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For media and press inquiries for the "Kimberly Moore Foundation Program" contact: email@example.com
Kimberly Moore, Assistant to Santa Claus