In November, Angelia Paulin’s car broke down. This would have been an inconvenience for anybody, but it was tragedy for Paulin. Her cancer-stricken mother has frequent doctor’s appointments—and now, no way to get to them.
Out of desperation, Paulin opened up an Etsy shop: Santa Mail Express. With the help of her teenaged son, the Seattle mom crafts personalized letters from Santa.
It was one of the best decisions she’d ever made.
“Etsy has been a wonderful experience for us,” she told the Daily Dot in an email. “There is such a sense of community and caring. It’s like a retail family and we really are amazed at how caring the Etsy family is when crisis hits anywhere in the world.”
Paulin said she has gotten nothing but heartwarming feedback on her handiwork.
“I was told that one 11 year old boy was taking his letter to school to prove to his classmates Santa was real,” she said. “I’ve been told that two sisters went through their letters section by section noting the details that proved their letters were from the real Santa.”
Right before Thanksgiving weekend, the seller partnered with Regretsy, an Etsy comedy website, to provide gifts for 200 needy children. Paulin handmade a letter from Santa for each and every one of them.
“Providing the letters was heartbreaking, delightful and gave my son and I the most interesting Thanksgiving ever,” she said. “My teenage son Mike has been hand painting almost every letter himself, he is driven to get the car fixed and help his grandma.”
While her charity work has helped hundreds of needy kids, Paulin still needs help herself. She still hasn’t made enough money to get her car fixed. But there’s still time to order: Dec. 12 is Paulin’s international deadline; Dec. 16 is her deadline for U.S. orders.
In the meantime, Paulin is overjoyed that her fundraising strategy just happens to frequently make someone’s day.
“I especially like to include how proud Santa is at something the child is either struggling to learn or excelling at,” she said. “[I]t gives a little boost of confidence if the guy in the red suit notices.”
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