Letters to Santa get extra security

WEST PHILADLEPHIA - December 1, 2009 John Bravo has volunteered with "Operation Santa" for the last decade. His girlfriend has joined him the past 2 years. It's become a holiday tradition, selecting a letter, buying presents, then dressing up like Santa to deliver them.

"The kids are so wide-eyed to see Santa come into their home. It's a great experience."

But unlike years past there are some changes in the program this year to protect the privacy of the families whose letter will be answered.

Instead of receiving an original letter, with the family address, volunteers now get a photo copy with the personal information blacked out. That means John and others must bring their presents back to the post office, with their photo-copied letter, to have their gifts mailed to the family they've chosen; volunteers also pay for the postage.

John understands the need for the change to protect privacy children from sexual predators but he will miss the personal visits.

"Oh the joy I got from doing that and from kids faces and the tears. It was a joy that was the great Christmas present I got from it."

If you'd like to answer a letter from a family in need, Operation Santa runs thru Dec. 18th.

You can drop packages at one of the following locations:

Philadelphia Main Post Office
3000 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19104

Snyder Avenue Post Office
54 Snyder Avenue
Philadelphia, Pa 19148

Franklin Mills Mall Post Office
1735 Franklin Mills Circle
Philadelphia, Pa 19154

Upper Darby Post Office
201 Bywood Avenue
Upper Darby, Pa 19082

Springfield Mall Post Office
1250 Baltimore Pike
Media, Pa 19064

Southeastern Facility
1000 W Valley Road
Southeastern, Pa 19399

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