A seventh grader from Englewood, Chicago only had one request from Santa–for his family to be safe.
Unbeknownst to him, his letter detailing the wish ended up at the White House instead of the North Pole.
Malik Bryant’s letter was one of the thousands written by Chicago’s public school students for a program called Direct Effect Charities. The program helps underprivileged children receive holiday gifts, but Bryant’s request struck a chord with the charity.
With the help of local representative Rep. Michael Quigley (D-Illinois), the letter reached President Obama, who wrote back to Bryant and promised him and his family safety. According to the NY Daily News:
“Please know your security is our priority for me and everything I do as President,” Obama said in the letter. The President told Bryant to work hard to achieve anything he could imagine, and that he is rooting for him.
Bryant was surprised his letter made it all the way to the White House, and felt that it sends a message that it is not safe in Chicago. He described that playing outside is hazardous, and said that he saw a man that was killed near where he lived.
“I’m surprised like he wrote it but it’s not going to solve safety reasons out here, it’s still dangerous,” Bryant said.
Another Christmas gift is also in the works for the teen. Direct Effect Charities is currently searching for a three-bedroom home in a safer neighborhood for Bryant and his family to move into.
For information on how to help, check out their request here.
SOURCE: NY Daily News | VIDEO CREDIT: YouTube