Santa Claus Fund deliveries take one family back through history

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My son, age 11, rests his chin atop an armful of Christmas presents as the elevator in what I imagine was a swinging building in 1965 — the lobby has that fun, swoopy look of that decade of hope and merriment — chugs slowly upwards.All I can see are his slanting green eyes and mop of hair that hasn’t met scissors since August and only rarely a comb. He is smiling, hopeful too, in general, and specifically about this day. We are among an army of volunteers fanning out around the GTA on a Saturday morning in November to deliver 45,000 Santa Claus Fund boxes, which take a year of hard work to assemble. It will take volunteers a month to deliver them to 22,000 separate addresses.The Toronto apartments where we make our deliveries are occupied in large part by Canada’s newly arrived, recommended to the Star’s Santa Claus Fund charity by social service agencies. Article Continued BelowMy son says they’re just down on their luck, but that’s not how everyone sees it. The American president-elect is supported by those who believe, as he does, in walls to keep immigrants out from one of the last vast tracts of land in this world to be explored and conquered — by immigrants fleeing persecution — who, eventually, drew a line around the land and fought wars to make it their own and made rules about who could and could not join them.In the days after Donald Trump was elected there were reports in the U.S. and Canada of haters emboldened, harassing immigrants and people of colour.

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