Letters to Santa: Help make wishes come true in the Houston area this holiday season


Some letters will warm your heart.

"Please fill my stocking with panda stuff," one child wrote.

Others will touch your heart.

"I love you. You are an awesome dude," another child wrote.

Still, others will break your heart.

"We are in need of food, clothing, shoes, toys -- new or used," a letter read.

Houston-area Post Offices receive thousands of letters to Santa every year, and far too many of them really need an answer.

"We see all sorts of letters from people with basic needs," Dionne Montague with USPS said.

USPS and 11 area Ace Hardware stores are helping to fill those needs by letting people become Santa's helpers. Those who adopt a letter and fill the wish list written on it will find themselves filling desperate needs.

All letters sent with a return address are answered. Those deemed truly in need are set aside for people willing to lend a hand.

"You see these letters and you want to help because that is really what all this is about," Paula Menard with Ace Hardware said.

Helpers can pick up Santa letters until December 20 at participating Ace Hardware stores serving as a drop-off points this Christmas. For a list of locations, visit www.acehardwaretexas.com.

"What we need the volunteers to do is pick up a letter, fill out the needs, wrap and buy postage and then return it to place they got the letter," Montague explained.

Last year, more than 400 families were helped by letter adopters. This year, the Post Office hopes to top that effort.

Volunteers say the need will certainly be greater in 2013.

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