What’s the saddest thing in the entire world? An earnest, semi-legible letter to Santa from a child. What’s even sadder? When Santa ignores the letter (see also: “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.'”) Oof.
But, this sort of thing shouldn’t happen in an established first-world country such as the U.S., so long as we have the Operation Santa program, which has just launched for the 2010 holiday season.
Starting tomorrow at the James A. Farley Post Office on 8th Avenue in Manhattan, members of the public, businesses, and charities can sign up to answer kids’ letters — preferably, for the kids’ sakes, with presents. (Be forewarned: You have to show a photo ID and fill out a form. And not be creepy).
A lot of Santas are needed; the Farley program gets 500,000 or so letters per year, often with awfully, horribly sad messages, and “such undeliverable addresses as ‘Santa’ and ‘The North Pole.'”
How sad are they? Here’s a taste:
“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.”
Please, be a Santa and sign up. We’re dying.
[via the AP/NBC New York]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 30, 2010