Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Need great as Operation Santa starts 100th year – USA Today

Operation Santa: The Post Office program fulfills the Christmas wishes of needy children and families by finding anonymous donors for their Dear Santa letters.

Operation Santa answers Dear Santa Letters from needy children each Christmas season

12:10AM EST November 27. 2012 – Pete Fontana believes in the little miracles, those twists of fate that connect someone who has to someone who needs.

This year, before the holly draped the stone facade of the main post office in New York, Fontana, the chief elf at Operation Santa, already needs 30,000 little miracles.

Operation Santa, now in its 100th year, matches the Dear Santa letters from needy children and families with the anonymous donors willing to adopt the letters and fulfill the holiday wishes. Around the country, 26 post offices field the letters and offer them to the public for adoption.

Fontana and his staff of Santa’s helpers are deluged with requests. He worries that Superstorm Sandy’s devastation in New York created even more people with needs and whittled away at the people who have resources to help.

“This year is a tough one to predict. There are so many factors — Sandy, the economy not getting any better,” Fontana says. “I’m afraid fewer people will participate because of the havoc the storm created in so many lives.”

Last year, the post office in New York received more than 500,000 Dear Santa letters. More than a third of the letters from needy families were adopted, spokeswoman Darleen Reid says. Nationwide, the postal service expects more than a million letters, although not all will be from needy children, she says.

“We get so many,

Read rest of story here

Click on map to get full list of participating Operation Santa locations.

Operation Letter to Santa Map

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