No one can take hope away from a child who has gained it from experience

Letters To Santa recipients 2019

Upon receiving toys, clothing, computers and $10,000, this Letters To Santa family asked if they could thank us with a song...

Every Christmas morning for the past 23 years, Christmas letters are answered that are written by families desperate for a miracle.  In 2002, what was a family tradition grew exponentially due to the generosity of an entire artistic community. Now, at least one dozen of us are standing at the doors of not one family, but 15 on Christmas Morning.  We show up, unannounced, fulfilling each family's Christmas wishlist (typically food & clothes). We have added a computer for every child and a tablet for the parent. And then there is the one gift that every family suffering poverty needs most: MONEY.  Each family receives $10,000. No strings attached. Given to them unconditionally because that is the only way to be sure you have extended yourself without taking something from a neighbor in need in the process.

Most Letters To Santa funds are raised during one remarkable live benefit event that has been running annually since 2002 at the world-famous Second City comedy theater.

24 HOUR is a 24-hour long improv and music marathon that relies on a cast of legendary musicians and the world’s top improvisers

Alumni include over 1000 improvisers and musicians including:

Jeff Tweedy (who has perfomed every 24 Hour for Letters To Santa), George Wendt, Tim Meadows, Fred Armisen, Natasha Lyonne, Jason Sudeikis, Oliva Wilde, Martha Plimpton, Jack McBrayer, Aidy Bryant, Bob Mould, Bush, The Breeders, Keegan-Michael Key, TJ Jagodowski, Veruca Salt, Steve Albini, Cecily Strong, Will Oldham, Chris Redd, Tami Sagher, Fred Schneider, Lil Bub, Mike O'Brien, Nina Nastasia, Horation Sanz, Robbie Fulks, David Pasquesi, Sam Richardson, Tim Robinson, and many more...

a detailed 24 Hour archive page coming soon...

Program Partners

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The Leak Experience


Museum of Children's Arts

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Poverty Alleviation Chicago (DBA Poverty Alleviation Charities) is a registered 501(c)(3) public charity  |  EIN: 83-2013132