ALTON – Many holiday traditions may look a little different this year, but back again by popular demand is Junior League of Greater Alton’s Letters from Santa fundraiser.

Send your loved ones, old and young, a personalized, handwritten letter from the big guy in red himself – Santa Claus. Each letter costs $8.50 and will be postmarked from the North Pole.

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“This is the fifth year we’ve done this fundraiser and it has become a favorite among our members and members of the community alike,” said Committee Chairperson Angela McDowell. “We love being able to add a little touch of magic to the Christmas season.”

All proceeds will benefit JLGA’s philanthropy throughout the Riverbend community, including the Junior League Locker, which provides new clothes for students in need within the Alton School District.

“JLGA wanted to give area children the opportunity to cut the tags off of their own clothes and help them find the confidence and pride they deserve,” said 2020-2021 President Maggie Partilpilo. “We launched the program in 2018-2019 in Alton’s K-1 centers, and have been able to expand through grade five in the last two years. We are thrilled to see the program grow, and it has been amazing to be able to spread joy in our community through the Locker.”

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JLGA works with counselors and administrators at the schools to fulfill clothing requests for students in need on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, each school is stocked with a “Locker” filled with basic clothing needs and shoes that teachers, counselors and administrators can give to children as needed throughout the school year.

The Junior League Locker is currently operating at Eunice Smith Elementary, Lovejoy Elementary, Gilson Brown Elementary, Lewis and Clark Elementary, North Elementary, East Elementary and West Elementary. While many local schools were remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this academic year, JLGA added a locker at the Alton YWCA and helped provide clothing for children at St. Francis Daycare and Alton Middle School, and reached out to other groups to offer assistance as well.

“The need is there, especially this year,” Partipilo said. “By providing kids with brand new clothes as they are starting school again, we are not only able to take a small financial burden from their family, we can give them a sense of normalcy during these difficult times. Sometimes, something as small as a new outfit that was selected just for them can help them remember how special they are.”

To purchase a letter or learn more about this fundraiser, visit fundraising/letters-from-santa .

To learn more about the Junior League Locker, visit community-impact/jl-locker.

The Junior League of Greater Alton, established in 1952, is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to empowering women and making the community in and around the Riverbend a better place for a diverse population of children and their families. JLGA is a chapter of the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and is dedicated to the training and development of local women leaders and volunteers making an impact in the community. To learn more, visit

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