Elf of the Year

santaIt was 31 years ago that a young mother spent her last Christmas as a patient at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Her only wish for the holidays was for Santa to give her and her family some happiness by visiting her on Christmas morning. To her great joy, Santa came on that special morning, bestowing well wishes and gifts in hope to brighten her holiday. This young woman, who passed a month later at the age of forty, left behind a family who soon became committed to bringing the magical gift of Santa’s Christmas visit to other patients and their families. And so, Santa’s Magic was born.

[quote author=”Jim Nentwig, President of Santa’s Magic, Inc.”]The mission of Santa’s Magic is to brighten the lives of hospital patients and their loved ones, bring joy of the holiday season to our aging veterans, and give a moment of happiness to the families of our armed forces serving our nation overseas. As volunteers, we strive to achieve these goals by paying personal visits on Christmas Day and providing special gifts, fellowship, and cheer at this very special time of year.[/quote]

Santa’s Magic, Inc. has grown and flourished solely on the kindness and generosity of the volunteers who strive to keep this tradition alive. Each year, one volunteer out of roughly one hundred is honored with a distinguished award appropriately named the Elf of the Year. This award is presented to a volunteer from the organization who has demonstrated extraordinary service and dedication while fulfilling the goal of Santa’s Magic.

This year, the Elf of the Year award was presented to two women from Peabody who truly embodied the spirit of giving this past Christmas. The recipients, Luiza Eiro, age 97, and Mildred Justo, age 93, are outstanding examples of the kinds of exceptional people that are vital to Santa’s Magic. Together these young ladies made over 100 knitted blankets to donate as gifts for those without on Christmas morning. Imagine an aging veteran with few resources receiving a hand-made afghan on Christmas, a gift that could mean the difference between staying warm and being left in the cold. Due to Luiza and Mildred’s efforts, Santa’s Magic has been able to produce countless happy stories over the holiday season. Their heartfelt contribution to strangers-in-need perfectly embodies the mission of Santa’s Magic.