Happy Holidays
Spread the joy

Dear “Stokes Folks” and Friends:

As you may know by now, my last day starring as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. in RAGTIME on Broadway will be on the 27th of December, 1998. It was brought to my attention that many folks wanted to send me a closing night gift. I am greatly honored that you would think to do that. I was asked if there was anything in particular I would like. Yes there is. More than anything else:

This holiday, play Santa to a less fortunate child or family

Here in New York, one can go the Post Office and get “Santa Letters” written by needy children and adults. If you have something like that in your own town, pick up some letters and grant some wishes! It is a great way to be filled with the Christmas spirit and spread some joy around. If your Post Office does not participate in the “Letters To Santa” program, you can contact your local United Way, Red Cross or Church, Synagogue, Mosque, Temple and ask for the names and addresses of needy children/families in your area.

Or even better, if you personally know a less fortunate family - help THEM. Give whatever you can: New toys; New clothes - shirts, pants, shoes, rainboots, socks, underwear, scarves; Any other essentials; Perhaps buy them the ingredients for a great Holiday dinner or even cook it yourself! WHATEVER they may need that you are able to give. Use your imagination!! You can send the gifts by mail, or (even better) personally deliver the “goodies”. The gifts can be from “Santa” or from you. Or if you are fortunate to have friends or family members that don’t “need” anything and you can never figure out what to get them, take the money that you would normally spend on them and buy gifts for a needy child or family. Then send them a card that says something like:

Dear ______________,

For your Holiday present this year, we have given gifts to (the chosen needy family or child) in your honor so that they may also enjoy a Happy Holiday.

With all of the crass commercialism of the season, it is a really great way to take back the Holiday and reconnect with its true meaning and the JOY of giving. It may even turn into a family tradition.

Please copy this and send it to everyone you know. The more people that do this, the better!

As we all know, the Internet is an incredibly powerful tool and here’s a way we can use it to change many, many lives for the better. Kindness is contagious.

Extraordinary things happen when one reaches out to someone in need - to them and to you. If you have a special experience being a “Santa” that you would like to share, I would love to hear about it. Or simply write and tell me that you did it! Please e-mail me. If the experience is personal and you would rather not share it, that’s fine too. The important thing is to reach out to someone less fortunate and do what you can. 

Angels do exist in this world. There’s one in your mirror.

Thank you and may you and yours get the gifts you TRULY need this holiday season and ever after.



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