Melissa Stinsman, a mail carrier for the Bloomsburg Post Office in Pennsylvania, is used to receiving cute letters from little children writing to Santa.
The postal worker and her team usually put these special requests into a separate folder, to make children’s Christmas wishes come true.
After her shift ends, Melissa voluntarily spends hours answering letters addressed to the North Pole.
Of course, she can’t give every child the latest toy or gadget they want, so she offers them sound advice and usually, the children are delighted to receive a response from ‘Santa’.
But this year, Melissa was moved by one little boy’s list of things he wants for Christmas.
Among the typical requests – Roblox toys, Legos – the child wrote down ‘food for family’ and ‘clothing for family’ which broke Melissa’s heart.
She sprung into action, trying to find the little boy, who didn’t leave a return address but did include his full name.
But Melissa was able to ask around until someone recognised the name from their route.
A triumphant Melissa then planned to gift $50 (£38.66) to the family but then decided to rally the troops and see what others could offer.
The community effort saw $500 (£386.52) raised as well as donations of food and clothing.
The little boy, aged nine, wrote in his letter: ‘Dear Santa, last year you didn’t notice me, so I hope this year you notice me, and this year I will be good. I pinkie promise.’
He added: ‘I am going to star the top three items I really want,’ which included phone, trampoline, and food for the family.
When Melissa went to drop it off to the family, the boy’s mum answered the door and was taken aback.
Melissa told Yahoo: ‘I said [to the mum], “Hi, this sounds weird but I work for the post office and I got your son’s letter. I’d like to help you guys this year”.’
‘The mum said, “Is this real?”.’
The Bloomsburg Post Office received lots of donations which Melissa will drop off closer to Christmas so the kids really believe Santa left it for them.
A beautiful community effort.
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