Operation Santa Kicks Off In Manhattan

NEW YORK (AP) — An 8-year-old girl says she and her little brother were sad last year when Santa “flew right over our house and didn’t stop.”

Caitlyn and 6-year-old Joshua are among the many children — from the U.S. and other countries — hoping for help through the New York City post office’s Operation Santa program, which began in 1912.

This year’s effort was launched Tuesday at the James A. Farley Main Post Office in Manhattan. It opens for responses from the public, charities and businesses on Wednesday.

New York postal officials say their Santa program is the largest in the country; it gets about 500,000 letters a year, some of them heartwrenching, with such undeliverable addresses as “Santa” and “The North Pole.”

For safety, the return addresses are blacked out, and the letters are assigned numbers. Secret Santas must present a photo ID and fill out a form.

“I have been a very good girl,” Caitlyn assures her hoped-for Santa. “And my brother, Joshua, has been good too.”

“But my mommy lost her job and does not have money to get me and my brother any presents.”

“We don’t want any toys,” she says — just clothes, a coat, a hat, “maybe some mittens,” and shoes. “There are holes in my shoes and the snow makes my toes hurt.”

Caitlyn thinks her mom, who “works so hard and deserves something really nice,” might like a new robe or socks.

If Santa does come, “We will leave you milk and cookies if we have any.”

Another little girl, Sheilyn, obviously had some help with her letter. She is just “3 years and 5 months old.”

“My mother died and I live with my grandparents,” her letter says. “I would like some earrings,” clothes and shoes. “Thank you, Santa Claus.”

The ages of the writers vary greatly.

“My name is Yoselin,” says one. “I’m 31 years old,” and a mother of two. “Santa, I’m very poor. Santa, I’m very sad because my kids want some new clothes and a pair of shoes but I don’t have money.

“My father was so sick with leukemia and died two weeks ago. I spent all my little saving with his treatment, because it is so expensive in my country. .. Santa, please help me.”

Joel’s age is unclear. At the very least, he’s an old soul.

His letter arrived on a school form that bore Santa’s likeness and the phrase, “My Wish List.”

There are no material goods on the list — only things that money can’t buy.

“For Christmas,” writes Joel, “I want hope, courage, bravery, a caring heart, a healthy mind, a loving soul … friendly words.”

It’s clear that part of his wish list has already come true: “to know what Christmas means.”

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • Madeline

    You have to physically go to the James A. Farley Post Office, located on 8th Avenue behind Madison Square Garden. Show an ID, fill out a short form, read letters, pick one (or more) out, fill item(s) on wish list. Shop, wrap, pack items for shipping. Bring package, along with the original letter, back to the same P.O. and they will address it for you and mail it. This is a wonderful holiday tradition that I have participated in for many years. I HIGHLY recommend it. BELIEVE!

  • christina may

    is there an address where we can send gift cards to her and her little brother.

  • CSI

    I’m sure they are being helped already since their letter are on display. But there are plenty of other children who need help as well.

  • Jan Pigg

    Can I help Caitlyn and Joshua?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live