Jessica Alvarez Kolakowski has lived in Bridesburg her entire life and loves everything about the neighborhood.
“I’ve lived in Bridesburg my entire life and I love our little town,” she said.
With COVID putting the kibosh on things that make the community special, Alvarez and her husband came up with the idea to spread some holiday cheer through the mail.
The couple purchased a mailbox that will be on a post in their driveway so residents can drop off letters to Santa.
“We are doing this because I have a 2-year-old, and with COVID, she didn’t have a birthday, she missed the Memorial Day Parade and she loved flags at the time and she missed a lot,” Alvarez said. “And, I thought, ‘We need something to make it normal for these kids.’ ”
The mailbox will be located at 4506 Almond St., and Christmas decorations and music will greet those dropping off their letters.
Bridesburg resident Caitlin Ryzinski is decorating the mailbox.
Every recipient will receive a return letter with their name and signed by Santa.
While the initiative is aimed at children in the neighborhood, Santa will respond to believers of all ages.
“Adults can do it, too, because everyone needs Christmas spirit,” Alvarez said.
A return address must be included in order to receive a return letter from Santa.
An unused stamp placed in the letter is appreciated, but not necessary.
Alvarez created an Amazon wish list for basic supplies, including paper and stamps.
The response was overwhelming, and Alvarez couldn’t be more thankful.
“I just put it on Facebook. I did not expect all the comments, tags and messages I received,” she said. “Everything on the wish list was really bought. Whatever was bought this year will be used next year.”
Letters can be dropped off in the mailbox any time starting Saturday, Nov. 28, through Monday, Dec. 21.
Spreading cheer in unprecedented times is Alvarez’s Christmas wish.
“When I watch these Hallmark movies, I would love it to be like that,” said Alvarez laughing. “I would love everyone to get involved, and decorate. Even if you put a candle out, just something to make it special for the kids. Just bringing cheer to people is exactly why we’re doing this.”
A Free Little Library is located at the house with the Santa mailbox. Children’s book donations for the library are appreciated.