LEBANON COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — This holiday season, a Midstate nonprofit is trying to make sure kids across the country get the chance to be part of a long-standing Christmas tradition.
Five-year-old Cole Hardman is one of those kids, and he loves Christmas.
“Well, it’s just I get to make gingerbread men,” he explained.
Like so many other kids, he is also writing a letter to Santa.
“I want a new, a green balance bike,” he said.
However, unlike a lot of other kids, Cole’s letter is in braille.
This is part of an effort by Lancaster nonprofit VisionCorps, to make sure all kids can be part of this holiday tradition. This is their second year running this program.
“It’s a long-standing tradition that kids always get to do with their families, so opening it up to the children that write and read braille was an opportunity for them to feel included this holiday season,” Erika Rothermel, teacher of the blind and visually impaired, said.
Rothermel was Cole’s first braille teacher.
“I worked with him from four months old up until August,” she said.
However, that is not her only job. She is also in charge of delivering these letters.
“I will make sure that they are personally handed to Santa, and I will read Santa’s braille and I will check it twice,” Rothermel said.
She also makes sure Santa understands the letters and helps the big man write responses back to these kids in Braille. Rothermel and VisionCorps are trying to make sure kids like Cole get a chance to let the North Pole know exactly what they want.
VisionCorps said this program is open to kids across the United States, and they will continue accepting and delivering letters even after Christmas. People can send the letters in braille to VisionCorps at 244 N. Queen St., Lancaster, PA 17603.