, Salem, MA

January 25, 2014

Letter: Thank you from Salem Children's Charity

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

The people who run Salem Children’s Charity met recently to analyze the results of this year’s edition of “Salem’s Christmas Party,” which was the 20th edition of this event at Victoria Station restaurant.

In short, it was a very good year! Salem Children’s Charity took in just over $32,000 in December. This is by far the highest total ever. It was certainly boosted by the donation by Turner Construction, made at the party, of a check for $10,000 resulting from a “passing of the hat” among Turner employees and a matching corporate donation. It was a stunning display of unsolicited generosity on the part of Turner and its employees. Turner is the firm doing the expansion of the Peabody Essex Museum. Turner employees have also committed to assisting STEM teaching efforts at the Carlton School.

The night itself was once again an incredible experience, thronged despite the bad weather and brimming with good cheer. Santa arrived on the scene, wished all a Merry Christmas and departed, leaving through the same door that Larry Puleo, one of Salem’s Finest, entered shortly thereafter. Sid Tracy, that marvelous Marbleheader, performed his violin magic for all. (It is worth noting that he was entertaining gratis while being a paying participant in the festivities). Unnoticed but every bit as important to the festivities, a half dozen culinary arts students from Salem High School donated their time to work beside the Victoria Station staff, who also donate their time to this event.

In talking with the Magi and their helpers, the question “where does the money go?” was answered thusly for the past year:

Among this year’s efforts:

Each Salem public school and the parent center received a “Christmas donation” and additional money over the course of the year to be used at their discretion to meet the needs/alleviate the problems of school-children/families known to them. This totaled nearly $11,000.

A $2,000 donation was made to assist a family with several children in our schools in obtaining a special van for a severely challenged child.

A $3,000 donation to help the family of three children orphaned when both parents died in a short period of time.

A mother of a critically ill child was assisted with transportation costs to a Boston medical facility.

17 needy kids were able to attend after-school programs.

20 needy kids were able to participate in full-time summer programs.

Retail gift cards were distributed to families in need at the time of need for basics of life such as food and clothing. These went to an average of more than 25 families per school.

The people who make up Salem Children’s Charity have asked that a huge “thank you” be extended to the wonderful people of our city and neighboring communities who keep this incredible engine of good works for children humming along.

For the Magi and friends, thank you!

Brendan Walsh