Everyday Heroes

Deli Owner Responds To Hundreds Of Kids' Letters To Santa

He's making Christmas dreams come true for kids all over his state.


Every year around this time, kids all over the world write letters to Santa with their lists of Christmas wishes, but typically they don't get a letter back, and if they do, the handwriting looks specifically like mom's or dad's.

Aleem Chaudhry, owner of Gino's Stop-N-Buy in San Antonio, TX, is making sure as many of those letters get answered as possible. Chaudhry is known for reading and responding to hundreds of kids' Christmas lists, even if the project started by accident.

Chaudhry (pictured below) bought a festive Christmas mailbox last year to incorporate into the deli's holiday decor, but when kids came in and saw the box, they started dropping their letters to Santa inside. Gino's Santa Mail Service was born!

KENS5-TV

"My wife told me, 'Just bring it to the store.' And I brought it and it just took off after that," Chaudhry told KENS 5.

Chaudhry began responding to the notes, and by the end of the season he had signed the name, St. Nick, to almost 400 letters. He put some crayons and paper out for kids to write their lists, and if parents came into the deli without their children, they could grab a form for them to fill out and receive a letter from Santa in return.

While most of the letters described the gifts that children wanted, some had questions that only the big guy himself could answer, like "How can reindeer fly?" and "Are you really coming down the chimney? Why don't you use the front door?"

The letters from Santa are written on special stationary and address each child by name. Each one gets a bit of personalization from Chaudhry, and they pay for all of the postage and supplies themselves.

While Chaudhry expects Santa's Mail Service to be even bigger this year, he doesn't mind the extra work.

"What's better is when I look at the parents, and the parents look so happy," he said.

And that, my friends, is what the real magic of Christmas is all about!

Gino's Deli Stop-N-Buy is located at 13210 Huebner Rd., San Antonio, TX, 78230. They'll be accepting letters to Santa until December 23 rd . You can visit the website for more information.

(Source: images @ginosdeli)

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