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Yes Virginia...And His Name is Garrett

In 1897, an eight year old girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun newspaper. The letter read:

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

The response that came, originally anonymous, from the pen of Francis Church has become one of history's most often reprinted articles.

Today in 2020, I echo his sentiment, "Yes, Virginia!" The example of old Kris Kringle that recently came to my attention, however, does not fit the stereotypical image. No beard or little round belly. No, as a matter of fact, this Spirit of Christmas kindness manifested looking more like Virginia than Father Christmas.

Garrett is an 8 year old boy whose family attends First Christian Church of High Point. In 2014 Garrett lost his mother to Cancer. Over the last three years, Garrett and his family have honored her memory by collecting toys for children with cancer at Christmas time. Typically they have worked with Duke hospital to distribute these toys and bring Christmas cheer to those facing what is often a grim outlook.

This year, due to Covid-19, Duke will not be distributing toys. But that hasn't stopped Garrett and his family. This year the Stolze's plan to distribute the toys themselves to children in need.

As a church, I believe it is important for us to come alongside of this young man and support his efforts. Not only is his mission one that should tug at our heart strings as Christians, but we are presented with the opportunity to encourage a young man who has a heart to serve.

I hope that you will join me in supporting Garrett by bringing in a new, unwrapped toy to the church lobby before December 15th.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity

and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest

beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It

would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith

then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no

enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the

world would

be extinguished.

-Francis Church

The New York Sun, 1897

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