Santa letters: A look at how the pandemic is impacting children and families

Updated: Dec. 24, 2020 at 2:36 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jwana Gunn is Customer Relations Coordinator for US Postal Service at Birmingham’s main post office. She’s been Santa’s helper for 7 years sorting out his mail.

Gunn said normally, that means at the most two thousand letters, but this year she said it’s 6-thousand plus.

Gunn said she believes it’s because children are spending more time at home because of remote learning and have more time to write letters. Letters she said have been pouring in since June. Still, it’s what children are asking for that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking to her.

Gunn said, “Not only are they requesting toys, they are requesting prayers, they are requesting things for other family members or healing for parents or loved ones who have been sick or without a job.”

Gunn read us a letter for example. It reads, “Dear Santa, my mommy hasn’t been so healthy lately and she doesn’t work anymore, but when she was she would give me everything good, but most of all her love is what I cherish the most.” The child in this letter also writes, “I know I won’t have a very big Christmas as to what I am used to, but that’s okay. Please Santa if you could grant some of my wishes I would appreciate it very much.”

Gunn said she’s always loved her job because it gives her a chance to hear from children, but admits she’s cried after reading the letters especially this year.

“Knowing that they are mature enough to understand what’s going on in the world today. When they should just be being a child, but because it’s everywhere (COVID-19) they know exactly what’s going on. And to put that on paper, it touches you it really does,” said Gunn.

Gunn said her staff sorts the letters to make sure they get to the North Pole and if they have included a return address the children will get a response from Santa. It looks like Santa has his work cut out for him this year.

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