This gay couple are receiving hundreds of letters to Santa – and reply to every one
A gay couple have been receiving hundreds of letters to their apartment addressed to Santa Claus.
Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker started receiving the letters back in 2010 after they moved into their apartment on 22nd Street, Manhattan.
The pair had been warned of the letter before they moved in, with previous tenants of the apartment saying they received a handful of letters for Santa.
“They never answered them because it was only three or four letters a year,” Glaub, 36, told PEOPLE.
“And the first two years I lived there, it was that exact thing. I’d get three letters and I didn’t really think anything of it. I was like, ‘Oh, sorry — wrong number.’”
After a couple of letters trickled in the first year, the gay couple, who have now been married four years, started receive more and more.
It’s at that point they decided to start replying to the messages.
By the time Christmas Day 2010 rolled round, the apartment had received more than 450 letters.
The couple made it their mission to reply to every single one.
“These were our neighbours in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan… these were our people,” Glaub says.
“I just felt this need to help them.”
The couple struggled to cope with the huge influx of letters, so set up a Facebook group and used their friendship group to reply to every letter.
They set up a Facebook group, Miracle on 22nd Street, where strangers from all over the world have taken to writing replies.
“It’s just so strange! It’s caused this global effort!” Glaub, a marketing executive, says.
“We’ve had people from Hawaii to Alaska, Germany to London, Nicaragua, Abu Dhabi, Tokyo — all helping. I guess that’s the power of social media.
“Why would a woman from Abu Dhabi care about some family from Corona, Queens? It’s amazing.”
“I think that suggests we are all looking for that connection to something bigger,” adds Parker.
He says that one letter, from a boy who asked for a bed to sleep in, really “stuck in his gut”.
There’s no rulebook for how each letter is answered.
Some fulfil all the requests, while others just get what they can.
Some even develop real bonds with the families they write to.
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“I have a group of friends who have had their family now for four years or something.” he says.
“It’s just nonstop crazy stories.”
The couple now live in London, but have a special arrangement with the new occupants of the flat.
They store the letters, while a friend scans them on to a computer for them to see in London, along with the helpers from around the world.
Nobody knows how the flat on 22nd street came to be labelled as Santa’s home and receive the mail.
One plausible theory is that it was part of the estate of The Night Before Christmas author, Clement Clarke Moore.
Either way, it turns out the real life Santa doesn’t have a Mrs Claus at all.
It’s Mr and Mr Claus, and they’re two very good samaritans from New York.