'Dear Santa' letters ready for pickup at Chicago Main Post Office

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The US Postal Service is looking for elves. (WLS)

It's very easy to write to Santa. Just address the envelope to him at the North Pole, which happens to have the same zip code as post office.

Each year thousands of letters arrive at the main post office, where Operation Santa got into full swing on Wednesday.

"People from around the community come in, select the letters carefully. Carefully select them that they want to respond to. Purchase gifts, bring them back and we ship them to the letter writer," Robin Anderson, chief elf of Operation Santa, said.

The letters have already been scanned and computerized, so it's just a matter of groups or individuals with big hearts picking them up, buying the gifts and answering those Christmas prayers, which at times are very basic.

"This letter really touched me because it's a single mother, six children. There is no mention of any toys on this letter. What it's asking for is clothes: shirts, pants, socks," Debra Estrada, Family Home Service, said.

"Hard times can happen to anybody and to put joy into somebody's life is really, really important," Ashley Jones said.

Last year, Operation Santa received more than 10,000 letters. They answered 6,000. The others went unanswered.

"Four thousand people. You know children, adults. Wishes were not fulfilled," Robin Anderson said. "We have to shred them, you know, to protect the identity and personal information. It's very sad. We hate it. It's very sad, but we are excited about the 6,000 that get fulfilled."

Operation Santa


Chicago Main Post Office
433 West Harrison Street
Chicago, IL 60699
December 2 - December 19
Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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