President leaves for Lapland with children from care homes
Lithuania's President Dalia Grybauskaitė and a group of children from care homes left for Lapland on Monday to meet Santa Claus and give him a package of letters with drawings and Christmas wishes from Lithuanian kids.
At the Santa Claus office in Rovaniemi just south of the Arctic Circle, Grybauskaitė will tell Santa about her wish to "see a Lithuania without children's homes," the presidential press service said.
"According to the President, a Lithuania without homes for children would be a Christmas miracle, but the efforts of all – not just Santa Claus – are needed to make this happen," reads the communique.
More than 90 children's foster institutions still operate in Lithuania, accommodating nearly 3,000 children – the majority of them celebrate Christmas in foster institutions, not at home.
The president's invitation to send drawings to Santa Claus so that orphanage kids could visit Lapland was met with genuine support. Almost 3,000 children specified an orphanage for this trip in their letters to Santa.
Lots fell on 100 kids from care homes in Klaipėda, Mažeikiai, Tauragė, Kėdainiai , Marijampolė , Alytus, Panevežys and the districts of Šiauliai, Anykščiai and Šalčininkai.