Letters to Santa reflect the economy

    Santa’s surogates in Philadelphia have been hearing from children whose Christmas lists reflect the tough economy.

    Santa’s surogates in Philadelphia have been hearing from children whose Christmas lists reflect the tough economy.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091218mpsantaletters.mp3]

    The Operation Santa program has been granting Christmas wishes to needy families in Philadelphia for the past 25 years. Each year, struggling families write letters to Santa and leave them with Philadelphia’s main post office at 30th and Chestnut. Individuals and businesses then pick up one or two of those letters and try to fulfill the requests.

    USPS Spokesperson Cathy Yarosky says this year’s lists show children who are cold, or hungry, or worried about their parents.

    Yarosky: A lot of them ask for some very basic things such as a holiday meal, help paying electric bills or gas bills, warm clothing for the winter months, a job for a parent and this year we recently I remember one asked for a crib for a small child.

    Yarosky says the number of letters decreased by 50% this year, probably because of incorrect media reports that that program was scrapped.

    More than half of the sent letters have already been answered by the community.

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