Item Santa

Item Santa’s mission is still far from done

There’s a hilarious scene in the Marx Brothers’ “A Night at the Opera” where Groucho is trying to get Chico to sign a contract.

After a lengthy list of clauses, Groucho finally gets to the end and tells Chico to sign a “sanity clause.”

“You can’t fool me!” says Chico. “There ain’t no ‘Sanity Clause.'”

Funny gag. But we beg to differ. Chico was, and is, wrong. There certainly is a “Sanity Clause.”  He’s here. Right now. His work is far from done, and he understands that very clearly.

The Item Santa needs your help now, and always. It may be Christmas Eve, but there are still people out there who are in need. And the Item Santa’s goals aren’t simply to reach out and take care of whomever he can get to in a specified period of time. It is to reach out and help everyone who needs it, regardless of what time of the year it is, and however he can.

This is a time of the year when the difference between comfort and need is pronounced, and that’s because of the accent we put on giving and receiving gifts. Jewelry commercials, car ads. If you spend a lot of your time watching these commercials you’d think that we all give our fiancees, husbands and wives Hyundais, Toyotas or necklaces from Jared’s. If only!

But that’s not on the minds of most of us — and certainly not paramount to a family whose mother or father is unemployed, sick, or disabled; who can barely afford the rent; and who have to make choices not on what kind of car to buy, but whether to have food or heat in the house.

So, on Christmas Eve, we ask you to help us take care of the families who need some Christmas cheer, some warmth, and some sustenance — both in the real and figurative sense.

It’s certainly not too late. It’s never too late. Regardless of when it is, or where it comes from, the Item Santa’s people will gladly and gratefully accept your generosity.

Now in its 52nd year, the Item Santa fund helps to make Christmas brighter for the needy. To donate, clip the coupon in The Item and mail it, along with your check, to The Item Salvation Army Santa, PO Box 5, Lynn, MA 01903. You can visit to make a donation online.

All donations are listed in Item print editions through the month of December and into 2019, along with a brief message from each donor, if desired.

NOTE: The application period for aid from Item Santa has closed and The Item does not process applicants. All questions about the program and distribution of gifts should be directed to Salvation Army at 781-598-0673.

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