CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a good time to get in the Christmas spirit, as the U.S. Postal Service has begun its annual “Letters To Santa” campaign.
If you want to give a child in need a gift for the holidays, you can go to the Main Chicago Post Office at 433 W. Harrison St. and read some letters from needy kids.
As CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez reports, Santa Claus might be from the North Pole, but he has an army of helpers in Chicago.
The letters pour in this time of year. Letters addressed to Santa Claus, but answered by people like Dreka Hall.
One letter in particular touched her.
“Yeah it did. I mean, for a kid to say they weren’t asking for anything but the essentials like a coat and shoes and gloves and then he asked for a bible,” Hall said.
The Chicago Post office received 6,000 letters like that one last year from girls, boys; families with two, three, up to seven kids.
Only half were answered. It’s not a pursuit for the overly skeptical.
“Sometimes people are scamming, sometimes not. You start reading them, and you can just feel, this is real,” said Reggie Taylor, a new Secret Santa.
Taylor grabbed three Santa letters on Wednesday.
“A lot of kids wanted simple things. I mean, like coats and gloves and shoes and scarves and I’m like, ‘Well, I can do that.’” Taylor said.
Asked what people were looking for as they sifted through the bins of letters, one Secret Santa said, “Sincerity. Sincerity and who really needs help.”
She also said she’ll miss delivering gifts in person this year, but the rules have changed.
“Bring it back to the post office and pay the postage and we will mail it for them,” said Chicago District spokesperson Mark Reynolds. “That way we protect the security and privacy of people writing to Santa.”
Some secret Santas said they’ll just imagine the smiling faces Christmas morning.
“It’ll be cute, it’ll be cute. You wish you could see it, but you’re not doing it for the thanks. You’re just doing it to help them,” said Isabella Chiovari.
Chiovari took five letters.
You can pick up Santa letters at three post office locations in Chicago through Dec. 21:
Chicago Main Post Office, 433 W. Harrison St
Northtown Post Office, 3401 W. Devon
Evergreen Park Post Office, 9359 S. Kedzie Ave., Evergreen Park