The Team

Heather Whinna

Founder, Executive Director

Heather Whinna has been fulfilling wishes addressed to Santa for 20 years and has dedicated most of her life to creating convenient opportunities for others to be of service to those who suffer from poverty.  She is confident that the greatest conduit for humanitarianism is Art.  Heather is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a professional photographer and live event producer.  She worked at The Second City for two decades where she raised nearly $2.5 million for her Letters To Santa program.  Every year she surprises more than a dozen families on Christmas morning with the money they need and does so by treating them with the dignity that they deserve.

Holly Lewis, CNAP

Director of Finance & Operations

Holly Lewis has 18 years of business management experience, primarily in entertainment venues.  She earned a Bachelor's of Music degree in 2001 from Baldwin-Wallace College and has a unique blend of creative and operational strengths.  Having overseen operations at two of Chicago's most recognizable theaters - The Second City and House of Blues, Holly is known for her experience with guest service, revenue growth, team building and cost control.  A musician and actress since the age of 6, Holly is a proud member of Actors Equity Association.  Holly and her husband have performed at 24 Hour Improv, the annual benefit for Letters To Santa, for the past 6 years.  Holly was honored to join Heather in launching Poverty Alleviation Charities in 2018 and is grateful for the opportunity to create a mission-driven career for a cause she feels passionately about.

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