Letters to Santa Needy, Not Greedy

Instead of the latest toy, an XBOX or a laptop, this year many of the millions of kids who write to Santa are asking for things a lot of us take for granted. The letters started arriving at D.C.-area post offices as far back as July. But workers are finding that this year, the tone of letters is a bit different.

The United States Postal Service's "Operation Santa" program has been around for nearly a hundred years. But this year, kids -- and even parents -- are writing to St. Nick, asking for necessities like coats, shoes and even food.

The Brentwood postal facility and the National Capitol Post Office are now sharing the letters, asking the public to adopt a family this holiday season and help with their wish lists. With 500 letters on hand and less than half of the families adopted, right now the post office is hoping for a Christmas miracle.

The letters are heart-wrenching. One reads, "I know my mom can't buy me stuff this Christmas. We lost our house then our apartment. Now we live with someone."

Another says, "My mom got sick then she got laid off from her job. We need help."

In tough economic times, even parents are writing in and pleading for help. "You just hear the desperation in their voice," said postal worker Serita Bush.

If you want to help, you'll have to act fast. You can go to the Brentwood Office (900 Brentwood Road N.E.) or the National Capitol Post Office (2 Massachusetts Ave. N.E. on either Monday or Tuesday, Dec. 20 and 21. Just look through the letters and adopt a family. The gifts must be brought to either facility by the end of the day on Tuesday, Dec. 21. Both buildings are open 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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