The small town can be 6,000 kilometers south from the North Pole, however the residents are some of Santa’s best helpers. That’s because every year, these volunteer elves get nearly 25,000 letters designed for Old Saint Nick. The Usa Postal Service ensures they arrive no matter how they’re addressed.
Ed Reinhart, who functions as Chief Mail Elf, reports, “They can be found in the mail and that’s all they may have upon them – Santa or Santa, North Pole. Many of them say ‘the guy within the big red suit’.” In other cases, letters from young kids arrive without a stamp or simply a sticker within the corner.
Head Elf Pat Koch says the volunteers answer all of them, and also have been the process for over a century. “Through the earliest we all know is the fact that postmaster started answering letters in 1914 that children 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 in the first volunteer letter-writing elves. Pat started helping decade later.
Today, the elves distribute one of four form letter from santa to child that bear positive messages about sharing, being good, and helping others. “We never promise anything, therefore we never admonish anything. We simply encourage,” Pat says, adding that every letter is individualized. “So they have got their name around the letter and there’s something personal.”
When they attempt to answer every letter, the elves are saddened when no return address is included. Their research team attempts to track the letters by post marked zip code, but sometimes that’s not sufficient. So that they encourage parents to continually check out return addresses before letters are mailed. To obtain 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 may be found in November and December. Ed Rinehart believes there isn’t a country that hasn’t been heard from.
This year, Hatchimals (electronic toys that come in plastic eggs), iPhones, puppies, and ponies are common big requests from kids. But there are many requests from adults too. Young people from China ask to accomplish well on exams or get into university. “We’ve had some adults which may have requested a diamond ring or perhaps a husband,” Rinehart reports using a laugh. “We’ve had adults that require healing.”
With an average day, he requires a thousand letters towards the post office, where he stamps these with a Santa Claus stamp, specially engineered every year by way of a local secondary school student.
The elves of Santa Claus never dreamed their good deeds would get a lot attention. Despite suggestions that people buy the letters from Santa, they hold firm in their dexopky92 to carry on the service totally free. As Pat Koch says, “Exactly what happens, happens as there are good people that care about the actual Christmas spirit and the real concept of Christmas.”