I hope the start of the new year is one that has met you with the same love
I hope the start of the new year is one that has met you with the same love

My Dear Friends,
I hope the start of the new year is one that has met you with the same love you have so generously shown our children. I’ve spent the last month reading many of their thank you letters and sent quite a few out to you in the mail as well. These letters are almost better than the ones to Santa himself, and they really give you a sense of what you have done. The one below was especially meaningful to me. I’m so grateful to you for joining us every year to make so many kids happy.

I’m doing everything possible to keep our programs alive and it’s becoming an increasing strain. While we answered 10,000 letters to Santa last year, our financial donations were way down.  Those funds are meant to cover our administrative costs throughout the year, but that hasn’t actually happened in a very long time. The fact is, this charity wouldn’t be able to afford expenses if it wasn’t for a few very special people. It’s been a struggle for a number of years and just when I’m about to give up, they are there for me, without even me asking. Somehow, it’s as if they just know. 

I am doing everything in my power to find a grant so that I can relocate for my health and continue the work I have done for so many years, both in Chicago and Orange County. If you are aware of anything available for charities like ours, please contact me. I know that we can help so many more children with just a small amount of funding and so badly want to be given that chance.

Maybe you could consider sponsoring Santa's mailbox? The rent is once again due and we are hard pressed to even pay it quarterly. If this is something you could help us with, we would be grateful. The cost of a rental for the entire year is $540, but they will give us an additional six months with a year paid in full because we are a nonprofit

It’s easy to make a donation using our email, directeffect@ameritech.net  You can do so using Chase pay, Venmo, Zelle or Paypal. Checks can also be mailed to:
Direct Effect Charities 
4044 N. Lincoln Ave. #400 
Chicago, IL, 60618

Anything at all would help and I promise, I will do my best to keep our work alive. You can even call Dan Scott, the owner of our mailbox store @773.871.1400 and play secret Santa if you’d like! I don’t think we’ve ever personally had one. Any help at all would be very much appreciated.

It’s a little hard to believe that our Sammy the Elf is graduating from film school this year. For those of you who have been with us from the beginning, you know she is my beautiful daughter Samara, pictured above, and she’s been involved in our charity since the age of 3. She has grown into an amazing young woman and I know that her daddy would be as proud of her as I am. 

In the last three years, she has answered over 5,000 letters to Santa through her University and many wonderful California donors. She plans to continue the program even upon graduation. I am grateful that she has embraced our traditions and I know she will go on to be an amazing filmmaker as well.  You can see one of her most recent films here. The password is rhythms2019 I know that without a doubt, she will always work hard to make this world a better place. 

We have appreciated the support of the Chicago Fire soccer team for many years and they have sent thousands of our children to soccer games. They are offering a discounted opening day rate to our donors, which you can get by clicking on the link below! Please support them at Soldier Field, their new official home! 

While it’s still too soon to start building backpacks for the summer, please also see below for the awesome perk we will be offering for your donations this year, thanks to our friends at Elenco

I look forward to continuing our traditions, and creating new ones as well. Please keep in touch because after all, we’re not just here for Christmas. We spread joy throughout the year and we are grateful to you for your help in doing so.

With much  love and gratitude,

Michelle DiGiacomo
Direct Effect Charities 

Please consider making a donation today to support our work. This can be done using our email directeffect@ameritech.net via 

Chase pay, Venmo, Zelle or Paypal.

Click on the new Chicago Fire logo above for discounted tickets to the opening day game at 🔥Soldier Field🔥 

For every 2 backpacks donated this summer, you will receive one Electronic Playground, valued at $49, from our generous friends at Elenco, makers of the best educational toys ever!


“I ask myself, how did this happen?” Letterman said. “And I’ll tell you how it happened. It wasn’t because of me. It was because of hundreds and hundreds and perhaps thousands of people who helped me. And I would just like to say, we have to help each other or nothing will happen" One of life’s absolutely universal truths, he said, is the great feeling we get when we help other people. “If you help someone, in any way, big or small, automatically you will feel good about yourself.” 

 ~David Letterman~

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