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    7-Eleven Helps Grant Holiday Wishes

    Convenience store chain sponsors ABC Family special, "Dear Santa."

    BURBANK, Calif. -- Each year around this time, kids from all over the world take the time to write to the one man whom they believe can make all their dreams come true -- Santa Claus. While some ask for a train set or a doll, others write for special Christmas wishes that most people take for granted.

    This holiday season, 7-Eleven Inc. will once again sponsor the ABC Family special, "Dear Santa," where Santa grants the special wishes of children with a little help from celebrity "elves." Dear Santa is produced by Mann Made Productions and City Explorer TV in association with the United States Postal Service for ABC Family.

    The special, which appeared yesterday and will be aired again 7-8 p.m. Saturday, December 16 on ABC Family, focuses on Roel who wrote to Santa about his family and the predicament they were in. A few months ago, Roel's aunt and uncle were killed, and now his four female cousins have come to live with them.

    His mother, Blanca, and father, Atilo, are trying to adopt the girls to keep the family together, but it's a slow process under emotional conditions. In order to accommodate a family of seven in the home previously occupied only by Roel and his parents, his mother and father have given up their bedroom to the girls and now sleep on the floor of the family room. Additionally, Blanca has had to quit working so she can watch over all the young children now in her care. Outside daycare is out of the question financially.

    In a time of grieving and hardship, Blanca and Atilo have put the kids first and are working hard to keep the family together. With a visit by the LA Galaxy soccer team, a trip to the American Girl Place Los Angeles and a special surprise, the children will have their Christmas wishes come true, according to ABC Family.

    The special also will take a look at two of last year's children who were granted extraordinary Christmas wishes and see how they are doing. These special families will help pass along the giving spirit by "paying it forward" to others in need.

    "7-Eleven stores helped one young girl last year get closer to her dream of becoming a doctor by offering to assist with her education," said Doug Foster, 7-Eleven's vice president of marketing. "This holiday season we again look forward to working with the 'Dear Santa' program by providing assistance to four children who have lost their parents and are doing everything possible to stay together."

    Darren Mann, executive producer, added: "We are delighted and pleased to once again be working with the United States Postal Service in production of Dear Santa. This franchise, in addition to providing great heart-warming holiday entertainment, has been able to fulfill the dreams and wishes of many underprivileged children who have reached out to Santa. And once again, our sponsor, 7-Eleven, without whose involvement, the ability to make these children's hopes come true would not be possible. This show is the perfect example of how a reality program can not only bring forth the true spirit of the holidays, but make a real impact on the lives of individuals as well."

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