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Operation Santa Begins At Farley Post Office

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TWC News: Operation Santa Begins At Farley Post Office
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Santa's helpers are being called on again this year to help answer millions of letters addressed to the North Pole.

Operation Santa kicked off Monday morning at the main post office on 33rd Street. Every year the postal service makes letters addressed to Santa available to the public so New Yorkers can help make the holiday bright for hundreds of thousands of city kids.

"Last December we received over 400,000 letters. This year, already we've received 149,800 letters," said Rachelle Miley of USPS.

Requests range from toys to the most basic needs.

"You read those letters and they just tear you apart," said Santa's helper Barbara Vaughn. "Some of the things the kids ask for are just so small and I think it would mean a lot to them to get even the small things they're asking for."

Second graders from P.S. 51 were there, hand delivering their own letters asking for everything from toys to clothes and school supplies.

"I asked for a math toy because I love math," said one letter writer.

"I want to ask him for a Nintendo DS, an 'Over the Hedge' DVD and a game for my Nintendo DS," added another.

"I asked for an iPod and a computer," said a third.

The letters can be picked up at the Farley Post Office through December 23rd.

Some of the kids also had questions for big guy himself:

"I asked how many elves does he have and how far is the North Pole from here?" said one little boy.

Volunteers stood on line Monday for as long as it took to get some letters and lend a helping pen.

The Post Office is asking anyone who wants to take a Dear Santa letter to sign up and show I.D all in an effort to protect everyone's privacy.

"Last year I delivered the present directly to the home, so they want to make sure the people that are getting the Santa letters are, you know, legit," said volunteer Susan Plisky.

Operation Santa Claus has been going strong for more than 80 years.

Dear Santa letters are in the lobby of the main post office Monday to Saturday through December 23rd, or interested New Yorkers can call 1-877-840-0459 during business hours to receive a letter to answer.
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