The tiny town could be 6,000 kilometers south of the North Pole, nevertheless the residents are some of Santa’s best helpers. That’s because annually, these volunteer elves get nearly 25,000 letters suitable for Old Saint Nick. The Usa Postal Service ensures they arrive regardless how they’re addressed.
Ed Reinhart, who functions as Chief Mail Elf, reports, “They may be found in the mail and that’s all they have on them – Santa or Santa, North Pole. Some of them say ‘the guy inside the big red suit’.” In other cases, letters from young children arrive with no stamp or just a sticker in the corner.
Head Elf Pat Koch says the volunteers answer each one of them, and have been doing so for more than a century. “Through the earliest we realize is the postmaster started answering letters in 1914 that kids wrote.”
By 1930, the postmaster was overwhelmed. When Pat’s father heard, he organized local veterans, the American Legion, area clergy and the secondary school typing classes to the first volunteer letter-writing elves. Pat started helping a decade later.
Nowadays, the elves mail out one among four form letters from santa package that bear positive messages about sharing, being good, and helping others. “We never promise anything, and that we never admonish anything. We merely encourage,” Pat says, adding that every letter is individualized. “So they have got their name on the letter and there’s something personal.”
While they make an effort to answer every letter, the elves are saddened when no return address is included. Their research team tries to track the letters by post marked zipcode, but sometimes that’s inadequate. Hence they encourage parents to always check out return addresses before letters are mailed. To acquire a reply from Santa, letters must arrive by December 21. The elves will respond after that, but it may be several days late.
Letters to Santa arrive all year round, but the bulk of them are available in November and December. Ed Rinehart believes there isn’t a country that hasn’t been heard from.
This year, Hatchimals (electronic toys that can come in plastic eggs), iPhones, puppies, and ponies are big requests from kids. But there are numerous requests from adults too. Teenagers from China ask to do well on exams or end up in university. “We’ve had some adults that have asked for a diamond ring or even a husband,” Rinehart reports by using a laugh. “We’ve had adults that demand healing.”
With an average day, he needs a thousand letters on the post office, where he stamps all of them with a Santa Claus stamp, specially designed each year from a local secondary school student.
The elves of Santa Claus never dreamed their good deeds would get so much attention. Despite suggestions that men and women buy the letters from Santa, they hold firm inside their dexopky92 to continue the service at no cost. As Pat Koch says, “Precisely what happens, happens as there are good people that care about the actual Christmas spirit as well as the real concept of Christmas.”