Operation Santa program helping families in need

UNIVERSITY CITY (WPVI) -- The holiday spirit was in full swing Wednesday at Philadelphia's Main Post Office.

Dozens of people from all over our area are stepping up to help youngsters in need.

Barbara Moore came to the post office in the 3000 block of Chestnut Street for stamps, but she left with a letter to Santa to help a family in need.

"It warms my heart," said Moore. "I think that they're going to believe. That this is going to give them hope. And that they'll have some encouragement for the future that people are good, and that you can get things and that there is a Santa Claus."

Santa Claus is a little busy this time of year, so Operation Santa has been around for more than 100 years to help him.

The program matches customers and businesses with letters written to Santa.

Many letters include some of the family's story about how they fell on hard times and items that they'd like - from toys to shoes to clothes.

It's hard to just pick one, and the good news is you don't have to.

Philadelphia Postmaster Jennifer Vo has been moved by the generosity she's seen.

"Some of the letters are so moving. As I read, I think back to when I was a kid. Santa makes wishes come true," she said.

Vo says so far this year they've received 500 letters, 300 locally.

More than 70 letters have been selected, but she hopes that number grows by Friday's selection deadline.

For Lois Best from Mount Airy, a letter from a single mother of two stood out.

"They both are in need of clothes and shoes, as I said the clothes and shoes and food that people are in need of is really important," said Best.

You can read and choose the letters until Friday at 3 p.m. at the Main Post Office on the 3000 block of Chestnut Street.

Then, bring back the gifts with proper packaging and postage by Dec. 16 to be sure families receive the parcels in time for Christmas.

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