Monday, November 06, 2000

Santa's helpers already busy

Children's Christmas wishes signed, sealed, delivered

The Associated Press

        STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Volunteers are making sure at least some children get a response to their Christmas wish lists from the bearded man in the North Pole.

        Students and helpers from the library and post office are responding — on behalf of Santa — to each letter they receive by Nov. 25.

        Several children dressed in red and green Saturday in anticipation of Christmas as about 60 of them gathered to write letters.

        “I asked for a Scooby Doo, a Pokemon book, Pokemon cards, a Pokemon costume, a Charmander,” 6-year-old Dakota Brammer said after she dropped her letter in a giant orange-and-blue mail box.

        Postmaster Pete Western said with a wink: “It takes a long time to get to the North Pole and back. This is the first time we're going to try to respond to everyone.”

        Mr. Western said his office receives about 10,000 letters for Santa every year. Only God has more letters waiting at Mr. Western's office.

        Project leaders from the li brary, who had worked with the post office on a letter-writing campaign for older kids, wanted to provide a similar experience for young children, children's librarian Joyce Ashby said.

        Joshua Schwarz, 9, and sister Caitlin, 6, of Brunswick wrote to Santa for the first time and kept their lists short.

        Joshua asked for Pokemon cards and “some surprises,” and Caitlin is hoping for a stuffed dog from the movie The Grinch.

        Adriana Amato, 5, and sister Alexandria, 7, were among the first to finish their lists.

        “I have been a good girl,” wrote Adriana, of Strongsville, asking in big, capital letters for “A Dalmatian dog, a shiny hair clip and Power Puff girl Diva Doll.”


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