A letter from North Pole South

Dear Santa,

My name is Sam, and I'm 12. This is the first time in my life I've ever written to you, which is pretty unusual for a kid unless your last name is Horowitz, and then I think it's pretty common.

You are one busy guy with all you have to do, so I wanted to let you know that in our neighborhood we have lots of great stores and businesses that have most anything you could want. So if you get behind or there's a huge snowstorm or something, Queen Anne would be just fine if you missed it this once. We are all good neighbors and do our best to take care of one another.

One store that is cool is Horowitz Trading, West. I hear you know everything, so you probably already know it's my mom's shop, but that's why I know it best and would like to tell you about it so you won't worry if you can't make it.

When she first took over the store, she did something called consignment. Our family likes to help in the community and in the schools, so Mom got another idea: What if people just donated things to the store and then people could just pay what they could afford to pay or what their heart told them to pay and the money would go to the public schools in our neighborhood?

Pretty soon even people who donated things or bought things wanted to help in other ways, too. Me and my sister Svetlana help out a lot, but other, older kids come to do community service and internships. There are people my Nonnie's age who come to help, and students from one of the schools, the Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center, come and help and get to practice their new language. Some people who don't even have kids and don't have anything to do with the schools come to volunteer!

It's interesting to be there because Mom has everything you can think of. Some things are valuable and some things are just something you need. It's also good because I really care about the environment and this is a good way to recycle things and keep them out of the landfill.

Working hard and working together is important. I think this is a way to show others we don't want to wait for money from the government to pay for things - we can get off our tushes and do part of it ourselves. For us kids, we get the opportunity to work with older people and people from other countries. We get to do something important.

Also, the guys and ladies that sell Real Change know they can come in and we have dry socks for them. The best part is that everyone feels welcome and gets introduced to everyone they don't know. It's like coming to our home, but the shop is way messier!

I know it started to help the schools, and it does in many ways, but I think it's even more important that you get to know your neighbors and get to help each other. My mom calls it building community. She says it's the way the world could best work if we'd let it.

I hope you have a great holiday!

Your friend,

Sam Horowitz

Horowitz Trading, West is at 514 First Ave. N.

Donations? Want to volunteer? Come for a visit and hear a magical story or two! Call Jane at 283-2317.

[[In-content Ad]]