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Kids' letters to 'Operation Santa' reveal the devastating impact of the pandemic on their families

Children are heartbroken watching their parents struggle to make ends meet during the health and financial crisis.

Kids' letters to 'Operation Santa' reveal the devastating impact of the pandemic on their families
Little girl is waiting for Santa at the front of the fireplace/Getty Images

2020 has been one to forget for most of us because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The health crisis combined with the financial crisis has turned our lives upside down. The United States Postal Service's Operation Santa program gives us a window into the devastating effects of the pandemic on families. The letters continue to pour in from across America but the tone of letters this year has been drastically different with many kids seeking help and requesting basic necessities for their family as opposed to toys and gifts. USPS employees have highlighted this issue and called on Americans to help answer and fulfill them. "The program has always been about providing holiday gifts for families who may not have the means to provide for anything more than basic everyday needs," said USPS spokesperson Kimberly Frum via email, reported People. "This year, there are likely more families impacted financially and emotionally."


"2020 has seen its share of challenges affecting individuals and families in so many ways. COVID-19 resulted in job losses, temporary unemployment, and, sadly, the loss of family and friends," added Frum. "Couple that with the devastation from natural disasters, and it’s easy to see why the USPS' Operation Santa program is more important than ever." Many innocent kids have asked Santa Clause to come up with a cure for Coronavirus while many others have opened up about how hard this year has been for their parents because of the pandemic. USPS has many of the letters written up on their website and many of them reflect the grim situation across the country. One child wrote that the "year had been very tough," before adding, "I lost my daddy and my grandpa, and my mommy is having a rough time. Maybe you can send her some happiness."


It's heartbreaking to see young children expressing sadness through letters to the Operation Santa program. In another letter, a boy requested a specific game. "Most of these days in COVID, I feel really down in the dumps and that game will kinda be like my way to escape reality." Frum is now calling on Americans to do their bit to help Americans in need and provide that "spark of happiness" to families in need. "It will be hard to celebrate the holidays without loved ones, whether because of distance or actual loss," said Frum. "But being able to provide even the tiniest bit of normalcy or spark of happiness to those in need would mean the world to so many people right now. The holidays are about kindness, joy, love, family, and friends," Frum adds. "The adopters of the letters in the program truly embody the spirit of the season by opening their hearts and showing those in need that they are not alone and they deserve to have a special season too."


A single mother of three also wrote to the Operation Santa program asking for a mode of transport for her hospital appointments. "I'm not asking for a brand new vehicle. Just in need of a van or a large-sized four-door car that can get us from dr appointments and the kids to school," wrote the mom. Operation Santa first started in 1912 with the Postal Service receiving letters to Santa, according to the USPS. The program has gradually transformed into a means of sending gifts to those requesting them via the program with the help of donations from people, charitable organizations, and corporations. Those who want to participate in the program can send a letter addressed to Santa Claus at 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888. Those interested in fulfilling the wishes of children, or penning a letter of support can do so through USPS’s Operation Santa that begins next week. 


It's worth remembering that even during a crisis of this magnitude, Republicans, and Mitch McConnell in particular, is refusing to sanction the second round of direct payments to the people to alleviate their suffering. Congresswoman Katie Porter called out Mitch McConnell on Twitter and accused him of working to protect companies from endangering the lives of workers by forcing them to work in dangerous conditions during the pandemic. 


"Everyone at the negotiating table-including Senate Republicans has agreed to a compromise. Except one. Mitch McConnell is refusing to bring it to the floor unless it wipes away all Coronavirus-related lawsuits filed that "allege injury or death" due to corporate negligence," tweeted Porter. "These lawsuits represent the worst of the worst examples of disregard for human life-cases filed on behalf of nursing home patients and grocery store workers who died because the company in charge of keeping them safe prioritized cutting costs over protecting them," added Porter.

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