Heartbreaking letters from kids to Santa will melt your heart this Christmas

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  • The US Postal Service is lending a hand to Santa Claus as hundreds of thousands of children send holiday present requests to the North Pole.

  • Dubbed “Operation Santa,” the USPS program accepts letters addressed to the North Pole “to help those in need at the holidays experience the joy of opening presents,” the service said in a statement. 

  • The letters will be “opened by Santa’s Elves” and published online to be “adopted” by people who would like to help.

  • This season’s letters, over 5,000 of them, posted on the program’s website on Friday. All of the letters were adopted by the afternoon.

  • Some letters reveal hardships faced by families. Here are a few, edited for clarity.

  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The US Postal Service is lending a hand to Santa Claus for the 108th straight year, as hundreds of thousands of children send their holiday present requests to the North Pole.

Dubbed “Operation Santa,” the USPS program accepts letters addressed to the North Pole “to help those in need at the holidays experience the joy of opening presents,” according to a statement.

“Let’s face it, this year has been a struggle for so many people in more ways than one,” the USPS said. “Thoughts of kids, the holidays and wondering how to provide for them may also be weighing heavily on many. But take heart, Santa and the Postal Service are way ahead of you, and are here to help.”

Once a letter is received, it is “opened by Santa’s Elves” and published to the program’s website to be “adopted” by people who would like to help.

Identifiable information in the letters is removed before publishing, and adopters go through an identification verification process. The USPS said it doesn’t vet the letters and that they are “not evaluated for worthiness in any way.”

Adien, a 4-year-old boy, wrote in his letter:

“I have been a very good boy this year. I would like to have a Paw Patrol Fan, Thomas and Percy train, toy tree, and a toy crane with remote control. This has been a very touch year. I lost my daddy and my grandpa, and my mommy is having a rough time. Maybe you can send her some happniess. I love you Santa.”

John, an 11-year-old boy, wrote in his letter:

“I’m praying you can help us have a Christmas this year. We don’t even have a tree. Honestly, we don’t have money for anything, not even for my birthday. But it’s ok, I understand because my grandparents have been raising me and I love them very much. But it’s been a struggle this year because we were in a car accident. I just got whiplash and I’m ok, and my grandpa had to have neck surger. After that our only other car broke down so my grandma lost her job because we live two hours walking-distance to town … But I just wish for money to help them with anything, like a bill; or rent; or just a gift for being the best grandparents and bestest parents to me.”

Sending cash or checks is not recommended for privacy reasons. The USPS recommends sending gift cards instead.

The more than 5,000 letters sent in this season were posted to the program’s website on Friday. All of them were adopted by the afternoon. New letters will be posted on the website daily until December 15.

Adopters can filter through letters by state of residency; family size; language; and requests for gifts or “special requests,” like a medical procedure.

Some of the past letters reveal hardships faced by several families. Here are a few, edited for clarity:

  • “Dear Santa: I am not sure if you have heard, but Grandma died so Christmas is not going to be the same,” wrote Lexi, who asked for a motorcycle set.

  • “This year I only want two things,” Meghan wrote. “One thing is that I want all the kids in the world to have toys or at least a happy times during the holidays. And the other thing I want is a mood necklace. How do you travel the world so fast?”

  • “Dear Santa: I want one thing,” Vicky wrote. “I’ve been a good girl and I want to ask you if you please get me a new power wheelchair. My wheelchair is very old and it doesn’t not want to work. I am very sad. Please Santa, bring me a power wheelchair. I don’t want nothing else. If you can bring my service dogs some healthy treats. Thank you Santa.”

  • “Dear Santa: I want other kids to be nice to each other (including me) and to have a talent and be independent, and strong, brave, smart, and designed for greatness, and to be a leader, healthy, cool, funny human beings,” Kameron wrote. “Merry Christmas.”

  • “Dear Santa: I wish I could help my grandmother and granddad. They always help other people but now they are both sick and can’t do much these days so I’m reaching out to you,” 12-year-old Taja wrote.

  • “Dear Santa: Hi, this is Amber … I’m 39 years old,” one letter said. “After from being homeless, me and my children were sleeping in a van. Now for the first time in a long time we can have Christmas together. The only thing I want for Christmas is that my kids are happy and they have a wonderful day.”

  • “Dear Santa: Do you support the LGBTQ community,” Will asked in a letter. “If you can speak to God, can you tell him that I love him and if he loves me for being gay.”

  • “Dear Santa: Hello, how are you? My name is Julian. I am 10 years old,” another letter said. “My wish is money for my parents $100 would help us a lot. They are having a rough time with the bills. We also need internet so I can study and so my dad can look up my brother’s grades. I also want bikes so we can ride as a family.”

  • “Dear Santa Claus: I know I have not been very good this year. So I am fine with coal in my stocking,” Eli wrote. “Has anybody told that you are the best? I trust in you when others don’t think they think that their parents are you. I mean that’s crazy. I hope you get this Santa. Please? Always believe in yourself. Bye.”

Neither Santa nor Mrs. Claus could be reached for comment.

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