Now in its 91st year, the Tulsa’s World’s holiday program to help Tulsa’s most financially challenged families is underway.
Project Santa is seeking $300,000 to benefit The Salvation Army’s Christmas assistance programs. Donations to the program go directly to clients; none is used toward fundraising or administrative costs.
Through Christmas, Tulsa World journalists will highlight families who are facing financial hardships and obstacles. These emotional stories explain how families and individuals are devastated by illnesses, job losses, disease, accidents and bad luck.
It’s not hard to have empathy with our neighbors needing a helping hand, and that’s what Project Santa provides.
The newspaper profiles are also inspiring. These are people who haven’t given up. They remain optimistic. They are honest and open about what has happened in their lives.
That kind of candor takes courage and ought to give everyone hope.
The program has deep roots, dating to 1928 when The Tulsa Tribune created the Santa Pal fund to provide aid through the holidays and into the new year.
In 1949, the Tribune partnered with The Salvation Army and changed the name to the Neediest Families campaign.
When the Tribune closed in 1992, the Tulsa World took over the tradition and the relationship with The Salvation Army. Last year, it underwent a name change to better reflect the project’s mission and eliminate stigma associated with the title.
Since the Tulsa World began the effort, $7 million has been raised for the fund.
Donations are tax-deductible, and donors can remain anonymous. Rather than cash, families receive vouchers or items they can use.
Each year, Tulsa World readers have responded with generosity, kindness and understanding. The campaign has become a community tradition.
No matter how large or small the donation, every cent is appreciated and directly helps a neighbor in need.