Where We Started
Back in 1993, an individual read an article in the Wall Street Journal that depicted Christmas letters, addressed to the Post Office, from individuals that needed help. A year later the local Post Office was contacted and stated yes, "we receive these letters and anyone can address them if they'd like." The associates of a local business organization, Concorde Therapy Group in Canton, OH were asked to assist in responding to these "unselfish Christmas letters" by raising funds for these specific letters addressed to the Post Office, in the name of Santa Claus or Good Ol' St. Nicholas.
The group responded amazingly well as we raised $400 in the first 10 days. Then, one volunteer (who dresses like an elf during Christmas and makes deliveries) recommended delivering the requests via Jolly Old St. Nicholas and a few other characters. The name Project: St. Nicholas Returns was adopted. The first year there were a total of three deliveries and the best part, this was done anonymously!
We immediately found that others needed help, even after the Christmas season. Bylaws were established, which to this day are still in place with the principles of the Golden Rule, minimal administrative costs, volunteer based and giving anonymously so others can help those in need when their luck turns for the better. We applied for a 501 c 3 non-profit organizational status with a tax-exempt number and Project: St. Nicholas Returns, Inc. (PSNR, Inc.) was official!
Funds were needed for these requests, therefore, we established our first Annual Auction/Dinner Dance for October 1995. Our intent was to keep our donations toward our objectives. Therefore, we began to ask for donations toward the auction-including items, hall, entertainment and anything we could think of. It worked; the first year we brought in a profit of a little over $2300!
Our first full year brought us to responding to another seven letters for 1995. The deliveries were amazing in and of themselves. The letters ranged from a daughter that asked for help for her mother who was dying from cancer, to a needy child who was about to have false hope in St. Nicholas until he and his merry characters came knocking at the door and asked, "So do you still believe?"
As the years go by and PSNR, Inc. continues to be blessed with its growth we ask you, "Do you still believe in the Miracle at Christmas time and that it can last all year long?" If you do, please feel free to come assist us in our quest of helping our fellow brethren through the challenges that were brought upon them. We do not search out acknowledgement, as the Good Book says: "that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees will Himself reward you openly." (Matthew 6:4) and "Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share." (1 Timothy 6:18) we have been truly blessed with the rewards we have received by giving to others.