Malik Bryant, 13, recently wrote a letter to Santa asking only to be safe for Christmas. Bryant lives in high-crime area on the south side of Chicago.
Bryant wrote the note as part of the "Letters to Santa" program sponsored by Direct Effect Charities.
His letter said in part, "All I ask for is for safety. I just want to be safe.”
Michelle DiGiacomo, CEO of Direct Effect Charities, was touched by Bryant's letter and forwarded it to Rep. Michael Quigley (D-Illinois) who contacted President Obama (video below).
"My staff and I thought, 'Let's see if we can get the White House to respond,'" Rep. Quigley told NBC Chicago. "I know it meant something to him, coming from Chicago."
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Bryant received a letter from President Obama that said in part:
“I want to offer you a few words of encouragement. Each day, I strive to ensure communities like yours are safe places to dream, discover, and grow. Please know your security is a priority for me in everything I do as President. If you dare to be bold and creative, work hard every day, and care for others, I’m confident you can achieve anything you imagine . . . and I will be rooting for you.”
The Letters to Santa program gave Bryant a Wii game and a new computer, which he can play safely indoors. DiGiacomo is also looking for a safe place for Bryant and his family to move to.
“I’m just overwhelmed,” said Bryant's mother. “I still can’t believe it. How fantastic that out of all the problems he has in the world, the president took the time out to write a letter concerning about my son. I mean wow, what a Christmas.”