Kids write to Santa for basic needs instead of toys this year

We keep hearing that the economy is better but the U.S. Postal Service is reporting that more and more kids are asking Santa for basic needs for their families instead of toys.

From USA Today (read the fully story for all the heartbreaking examples):

U.S. Postal Service workers who handle letters addressed to Santa at the North Pole say more letters ask for basics — coats, socks and shoes — rather than Barbie dolls, video games and computers.”

“At New York City’s main post office, Head Elf Pete Fontana and 22 staff elves will sort 2 million letters in Operation Santa, which connects needy children with “Secret Santas” who answer their wishes.”

“Fontana, a customer relations coordinator for the Postal Service, has been head elf for 15 years.”

” ‘The need is greater this year than I’ve ever seen it,’ he says. ‘One little girl didn’t want anything for herself. She wanted a winter coat for her mother.’ ”

“At more than 20 post offices, workers log every letter, black out identifying information except first name and age, and ask the public to respond. Lobby displays promote the program. People return with gifts and letters, which carriers deliver.”

USA Today’s site features a map of participating locations but it doesn’t look like any Georgia post offices are helping with the program. South Carolina and Florida are.

Some options for Georgia donations to help kids are the Salvation Army or Toys for Tots.

What do you make of this story? It’s so sad but yet also wonderful that these children are so selfless asking for help for their families.

53 comments Add your comment

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December 18th, 2010
6:14 pm

[...] Kids write to Santa for basic needs instead of toys this year – Atlanta Journal Constitution (… [...]

[...] Kids write to Santa for basic needs instead of toys this year – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)We keep hearing that the economy is better but the U.S. Postal Service is reporting that more and more kids are asking Santa for basic needs for their families instead of toys. “ U.S. Postal Service workers who handle letters addressed to Santa at the [...]

David

December 21st, 2010
1:22 pm

Funny … another person at AJC wrote about kids asking for the same stuff. This article refers to mall Santas, so it’s definitely referring to kids whose families are doing a little better. http://www.accessatlanta.com/atlanta-holiday-guide/year-in-review/requests-from-santa-unchanged-783789.html?cxntlid=cmg_cntnt_rss