PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Writing a letter to Santa is not only a good way to let the big guy up north know what you’d like for Christmas. But at Lowe’s in Millville, it’s something fun for kids to do while the adults shop. And before mailing the letters to Mr. Claus – employees enjoy reading copies in their break room.
One letter, in particular, touched everyone, a little girl asking Santa to help her friend.
“Dear Santa, kids in my class say your not real, but I still believe. I hope that doesn’t mean I’m a baby. Also my friend lost her dad, and her family is living in he friend’s backyard. Please help! I hope it is ok to not ask for a present.”
“What went through your mind and heart when you read that?” asked reporter Cleve Bryan.
“Well that’s there’s a kid that’s really selfless and wants to do something for one of her friends and also that there’s a child out there in this situation in the holiday season,” said Kevin Betchner, Lowe’s Millville department manager.
Betchner wanted to find Riley and see how to help her friend, so he posted the letter to social media. Within a day, thousands of people shared the letter, eventually reaching Riley Bylone’s family in Buena Vista.
“So I really wanted to help her and tell Santa Claus, I mean he’s the man that can do everything on Christmas I think he can really help,” said Riley.
Tony and Jenna Bylone checked with their daughter’s school and learned Riley’s friend’s situation wasn’t exactly as the 9-year-old described but a social worker is following through. Meanwhile, mom and dad couldn’t be prouder that all their daughter wants for Christmas is to help others.
“It was a proud moment as a father just to see her heart and to bless somebody other than herself,” said Tony.
“We’re trying to create a servant’s heart in her just to love like Jesus does,” Jenna said.
Riley says, “I’m really happy that people like my letter and I hope that when they read it they will help others.”
“I think she’s awesome, I can’t wait to hopefully meet her one day. Hopefully, she comes in the store again and we can shake her hand and really just meet a wonderful child like that,” said Jason Morrell, the store manager at the Lowe’s in Millville.