The small town might be 6,000 kilometers south from the North Pole, but the residents are a few of Santa’s best helpers. That’s because annually, these volunteer elves get nearly 25,000 letters meant for Old Saint Nick. The United states Postal Service ensures they arrive regardless of how they’re addressed.
Ed Reinhart, who may serve as Chief Mail Elf, reports, “They can be found in the mail and that’s all they already have about them – Santa or Santa, North Pole. A number of them say ‘the guy within the big red suit’.” Other times, letters from young kids arrive with no stamp or simply a sticker within the corner.
Head Elf Pat Koch says the volunteers answer every one of them, and have been doing this for over a century. “In 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 also the high school graduation typing classes into the first volunteer letter-writing elves. Pat started helping ten years later.
These days, the elves send among four form letter from santa claus that bear positive messages about sharing, being good, and helping others. “We never promise anything, and we never admonish anything. We simply encourage,” Pat says, adding that every letter is individualized. “So they may have their name in the letter and there’s something personal.”
Whilst they try 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 local zip code, but sometimes that’s insufficient. So they encourage parents to continually look for 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 can be a couple of days late.
Letters to Santa arrive year round, but the bulk of them can 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 could come in plastic eggs), iPhones, puppies, and ponies are all big requests from kids. But there are numerous requests from adults too. Teenagers from China ask to complete well on exams or get into university. “We’ve had some adults that have asked for a diamond ring or perhaps a husband,” Rinehart reports with a laugh. “We’ve had adults that require healing.”
With an average day, he needs a thousand letters for the post office, where he stamps them with a Santa Claus stamp, engineered every year by way of a local high school student.
The elves of Santa Claus never dreamed their good deeds would get a great deal attention. Despite suggestions that individuals buy the letters from Santa, they hold firm with their dexopky92 to go on the service free of charge. As Pat Koch says, “Precisely what happens, happens as there are good individuals who worry about the genuine Christmas spirit as well as the real meaning of Christmas.”