SAN DIEGO — Operation Santa is in full swing. The U.S. Postal Service is recruiting Santa's elves to help fulfill kids' wishes. But more children in need are needed to write Santa.
Two years ago was the first time Mayra Elena-Hernandez adopted a letter from a girl named Jacqueline.
“My sister is 6 and I'm currently 11 and I still believe in you and won't let the Grinch take that spirit,” wrote Jacquelin.
“It really spoke to me. When I was growing up and I first came to the States one of the things was that, I was lucky, I always had Christmas gifts under the tree but my classmates didn't always,” said Elena-Hernandez, U.S. Postal Employee.
Operation Santa started in 1912; the anonymous program helps children who may not receive presents.
“Letters are going crazy right now off the website, so we want children to write their letters,” said Juvylyn Sevilla, U.S.P.S. Customer Relations.
So far 2,300 California children in need have written letters and 25,000 nationwide and they hope to double that which would be a record.
“My mom is a single mother with two children - me and my younger sister,” wrote McCenzie. “She struggles with money and accounts and I know there are many other folks in the same or worse situation, I would be extremely grateful.”
Children can write in their native language. Jacqueline wrote her letter in Spanish.
“I specifically chose this letter because it's written in Spanish and I am a Spanish speaker,” said Elena-Hernandez.
Children can ask for whatever their heart desires such as a dollhouse, a computer or gift cards.
An adopter can go to the U.S.P.S. Operation Santa website, read through the letters and adopt a child or family and fulfill as many wishes as you would like.
Mayra's boyfriend is joining Santa's workshop this year.
“We will be adopting at least one letter together. We are trying to make try to make that a tradition with us,” said Elena-Hernandez.
A tradition that helps children in need believe in Santa and the magic of the holidays.
“There are a lot of generous people, a lot of little elves who are trying to make this holiday season happen especially for children in San Diego,” said Elena-Hernandez.
Children need to have a first-class stamped letter postmarked by December 10. Remember to include, clothing and shoe size, age and a complete address and avoid 3D art but you can make it as colorful as you’d like.
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