Urban Humanitarian Projects (UHP) Announces $3000 in Matched Donations for the Urban Santa Project to Provide 1,000 Christmas Gifts

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Due to the success in its two previous campaigns, Urban Humanitarian Projects (UHP) has announced its plans to continue the Urban Santa Project, with a goal of 1,000 personalized gifts for children living in shelters, orphanages, and other temporary housing facilities in New York, New Jersey, California and Haiti. UHP is seeking donations of $20 to sponsor a child’s gift, which includes a toy, an educational book and a personal hygiene kit. The first $3,000 in donations collected on project’s website (http://www.urbansantaproject.org) will be matched 100%. Each gift is hand-delivered by Santa – one of UHP’s medical student volunteers – on Christmas morning.

Urban Santa Project

Urban Santa and his elves hand-deliver personalized gifts to children on Christmas morning!

This year’s Urban Santa Project follows two successful campaigns, which provided children with toys and winter clothes in 2009 and personalized toy delivery to over 300 children in 2010. The project is supported entirely by donations from individuals and is organized completely by volunteers so that 100% of the donations are used for charitable programs. The team works with established charities in urban communicates to distribute the gifts residing at various housing facilities. Each child receives a wrapped present with a hand-written, personalized note.
“What makes our program unique is that our Santa and his elves hand-deliver the gifts to children on Christmas morning,” said Santhosh Cherian, UHP’s Executive Director and founder of the Urban Santa Project. “We want to do everything we can to make sure every child is smiling on Christmas morning, regardless of their social or economic background.”
In 2009, 23 gifts were delivered at Covenant House: Mother-Child Crisis Center and winter coats and accessories were provided to homeless men and women through Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. Last year, the Christmas charity event saw tremendous growth, distributing 300 gifts to children from five organizations. UHP plans to more than triple that number this year.
UHP works with partner charities to collect names of children living at their facilities. All the shopping and wrapping is done by the volunteers. Program partners include Palladia, Covenant House, WIN (Women in Need, Inc.), The Children’s Aid Society, Providence House and Operation Haiti Recovery. Each child receives a gift that is age-and gender-appropriate.
“A new component for this year is the personal hygiene kit,” Cherian said. “Because UHP was founded and is run by medical students from St. George’s University, we wanted to take advantage of this great opportunity to have ‘Santa’ stress the importance of taking care of your body and your health.”
For more information or to donate, go to http://www.urbansantaproject.org.

Urban Humanitarian Projects (UHP) is a student-run non-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization founded by St. George’s University medical students (Grenada, West Indies) completing their medical training in New York City. UHP’s mission - to improve the education, healthcare, and quality of life of the underprivileged – is supported by working with established charities throughout the United States and abroad to make a positive impact in the lives of disadvantaged children and adults. UHP past projects include the annual Urban Santa Project - Christmas day gift delivery, GURUS High School Mentorship Project, and a semi-annual video game tournament fundraiser event which raised over $100,000 for humanitarian projects worldwide. The organization’s tax-exempt fiscal sponsor, FJC, a foundation of philanthropic funds, allows start-up programs to utilize their services to accept donations and operate as a legal entity. FJC maintains the organization’s financial records, assisting in donor relations and all legally-mandated monitoring and reporting. UHP is fully supported by St. George’s University and its administration. http://www.uhp.org

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Michal Gordon
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