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Dear Santa, I don't want any presents this year. Thank you, Emmileah, 6

By Crawley News  |  Posted: November 07, 2013

  • GIVING UP HER GIFTS: Emmileah Anderson with her letter to Santa asking him to give her presents to children who need them more Photo by Kevin Shaw reks20130211e

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AS HE wades through thousands of letters at his factory at the North Pole, Father Christmas could be forgiven for becoming dispirited at how demanding today's children have become.

But among the requests for new bikes, games consoles and doll's houses will be one letter that should be guaranteed to bring a tear to his eye.

Because a six-year-old schoolgirl has written to Santa to explain that she doesn't want any presents this year, despite being on the "good list".

Little Emmileah Anderson was so shocked to hear that some children don't get any gifts, she decided she didn't want any either.

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So she penned a touching letter to Santa and his wife, asking them to give her toys to "the children that don't have any".

She hasn't stopped there, and has decided that she also wants to raise as much money as possible for charity this festive season.

Emmileah's mum, Shannaz Noormohamed, explained how the letter came about.

The 26-year-old, of Carrington Close, Redhill, said: "My cousin is doing a Santa Run for St Catherine's Hospice and she asked if me and Emmileah would like to do it. I asked Emmileah and she wanted to know what a charity was so I told her about St Catherine's and all the different sorts of charities.

"I said there are charities for children who don't have very much. I didn't think much of it and sent her off to bed.

"Then I went up to check on her and she asked me to post a letter for her. I read it and cried for about 15 minutes.

"She obviously went away and thought about what I said."

Emmileah, a Burstow Primary School pupil, hadn't realised other youngsters weren't as lucky as her.

She said: "I felt bad that other children didn't have toys. I didn't know that before."

Fortunately for Emmileah she got "all the Disney Barbies" last year, so she believes she can cope without anything to unwrap on Christmas Day.

However, she made it clear it was still a tough decision. She said: "It's not because I don't want any presents. I just don't really need them."

Emmileah is determined to get as many people as possible behind her fundraising for St Catherine's and has even paid a visit to the police station to sting officers for donations.

Shannaz said: "She wants to go to the fire station, hospital and the council offices to ask people for donations, dressed in her Santa outfit.

"While we've been shopping in town she has been telling people what she is doing and asking if they will sponsor her.

"The fact it has all been her idea makes it even more amazing. I am a very proud mum at the moment. I'm not sure I would have given up my Christmas presents at that age. I'm not sure I would now!"

The family now plan to create a calendar, by taking a photo of Emmileah when she visits the fire station, hospital and businesses around the town.

Shops and businesses can sponsor Emmileah in exchange for her being photographed at their premises, with each photo appearing in the calendar.

As for how Emmileah has always managed to stay in Santa's good books, she wasn't sure of the reason.

But she explained: "I did clean my room yesterday."

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