NY home gets avalanche of Santa letters

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 23, 2019 - Duration: 01:51s

NY home gets avalanche of Santa letters

How a Manhattan apartment got mixed up with Santa’s address is a mystery, but the former tenants created a charity to fulfill the wishes from Santa letters that arrive every Christmas - and now Tina Fey is producing a movie about it.


NY home gets avalanche of Santa letters

STORY: It's the most wonderful time of the year to make the perfect mistake.

Letters to Santa are wrongly addressed each December to an apartment on West 22nd Street in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, a long way from the North Pole.

At first the couple who lived there, Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker, received only a flurry of the mysteriously addressed letters from needy local families seeking toys, warm clothing and basic necessities.

By 2010, it was an avalanche.

Glaub says A friend suggested the letters be given to volunteers who wanted to fulfill the requests, just like real-life elves.

Thus, a charity known as the Miracle on 22nd Street was born.

"It's about being bigger than yourself and giving back," Glaub says.

"And it feels so good." Just how the West 22nd Street address came to be known as Santa's abode remains a mystery.

Some speculate it's tied to 19th century writer Clement Clarke Moore, who was widely credited as the author of the poem that became known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" and who lived in the Chelsea neighborhood.

In the decade since the nonprofit organization was founded, both misfortune and generosity have snowballed in the United States, Glaub says.

Families from almost every U.S. state now appeal to the charity for holiday help and 'elves' from all over the world are linked with them to respond to their wishes.

Last year the organization, which partners with other foundations, received 500 letters - many of which are handwritten and illustrated.

And while the couple has moved out of the apartment, the charity continues to gather the Santa letters and coordinates with volunteers to fulfill holiday wishes.

Now the heartwarming tale is on its way to the big screen, optioned by Universal Pictures and Tina Fey, and expected to debut in 2020.

The newest occupant of the West 22nd Street apartment, 22 year-old Meredith McKernan, says it was uplifting to see so many people helping others and to know they are still able to remember the innocence of childhood, no matter how old they are.

"Everyone believed in Santa at one time," McKernan says.

The address mix-up is as comforting as it is confounding, Glaub says.

"Hundreds and hundreds of people have stepped up to say, 'I want to help.

I can do this.

I can help my neighbor.

It gives me a lot of hope," Glaub says.

(Production by: Dan Fastenberg and Andrew Hofstetter)

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