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Our Legacy of Holiday Giving

The first Sidewalk Santa rang his bell to invite passersby to drop money in his chimney in 1900. In 2013, we brought our Sidewalk Santas in from the cold, but the program it supported, Hope and Hearth holiday food voucher program, is as strong as ever.

Where once we delivered baskets of food to those in need, we have replaced them with food vouchers so that recipients can shop for and prepare a meal that is special to them rather than rely on a food pantry or soup kitchen for their holiday meal. This change to the program was in recognition of the fact that many people have dietary restrictions for medical, religious or other reasons and is consistent with our belief that it is important to allow people to experience as normal a life as they can, in spite of their circumstance.

The families and individuals who receive food vouchers include the frail elderly, veterans on limited incomes and homeless families residing in our shelters. The number of food vouchers we distribute is solely based on the amount of private money we raise.

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Take a look at the rich history of our holiday food voucher campaign: