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12/11/2013 2:54:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Santa letters fundraiser coming this month

Sebastian Moraga
Staff writer

Teachers and students will have an unusual helper this Christmas season: Santa Claus.

The jolly old elf will write a letter to children in the Valley, for $5 each, with the money going toward supplies for Cashmere schools.

Leah Davis, head of the Allyn Janelle Foundation which organized the Pak The Bins school supply drive last summer, said the letters will be in scroll paper, with a wintry motif and a wax seal, and personalized to every child's life.

Those interested in having the children in their lives get a letter from Santa,, need to contact Davis and let her know what the letter should say.

"That would make it all that much more special," she said. "Things like, 'You're doing a great job in school,' or, 'I know you're working hard for your dance recital.'"

Davis then will probably contact Santa and pass on the information. Unless, of course, Santa turns out to be unavailable -and by unavailable, we mean imaginary-, in which case, she will write the letter herself.

The fact that the stamps on the outside off the envelope will say Cashmere or Wenatchee shouldn't matter, Davis said. Letters from the North Pole have to come through the post office and get stamped, too.

"The kids who still believe in Santa, none of them have looked at that yet," she said, "and I have sent out over 30 letters already and not a single parent or child have said anything about 'oh, why is this stamp from this place?'"

The money will help buy school supplies as well as help teachers during the years if they are running low on certain things in the classroom.

"The teacher can then get a hold of me instead of spending their own money on it," she said, adding that this is the nonprofit's first year of fundraisers.

The first-ever fundraiser, Pak The Bins was a complete success, Davis said.

"It went so well, it was amazing all the support from the community," she said. "I had over 80 kids come to my house and get a backpack and a full list of school supplies. Then I was also able to sponsor the entire preschool. It was really exciting."

Even after the fundraiser was over, people continued to reach out and offer their help.

For this winter's fundraiser there is no amount set as the goal

"If I made a few hundred dollars, I would be very, very, very pleased," she said. "A thousand dollars would be amazing."

The main goal is to raise awareness about the nonprofit, named after Davis' two children. Allyn and Janelle are the children's middle names. Davis wants the community to hear and learn about the foundation so when next summer rolls around and Pak The Bins returns, people are ready for it.

There's no firm deadline to reach Davis, she said. It all depends on where the children live. If they are local, it may not take more than a few days for the letter from Santa/Davis to reach them.

"As long as they are close, I can send them pretty close to Christmas," she said. "If they are farther out, if they have family in the other side of the state or somewhere else in Washington, then the sooner the better."

Sebastian Moraga can be reached at 782-3781 or reporter@cashmerevalleyrecord.com



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