President Obama Issues Heartfelt Response to Chicago Teen's Christmas Wish for Safety

This is real life.


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A Chicago teenager hailing from a crime-addled neighborhood wanted nothing more for Christmas this year than to be safe. His wish eventually made its way to President Obama, who issued a sincere response to the boy. 

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that 13-year-old Malik Bryant of Englewood wrote the letter to Santa for local non-profit DirectEffect Charities. The organization gathers letters from children, then sets them up with secret Santas who fulfill their wishes. Bryant's letter, in which he wrote "All I ask for is for safety. I just wanna be safe," inspired the organization's CEO to forward it to U.S. Rep. Michael Quigley. Quickley then passed it along to President Obama, who wrote the following in a letter dated Dec. 22: 

Dear Malik:

I want to offer you a few words of encouragement this holiday season.

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.

I wish you and your family the very best for the coming year, and I will be rooting for you.


Barack Obama

Bryant didn't open the letter until Sunday. Although he expressed gratitude to the president for reaching out to him, he was chillingly pragmatic about his reality: 

I know the president’s letter isn’t going to like solve the safety reasons out here, and it’s still going to be dangerous, but I’m excited the president of the United States wrote to me, and I can’t wait to show it off.

[via Chicago Sun-Times and Gawker]

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