Postal worker answers 9-year-old boy's letter to Santa asking for 'food and clothing for family'

Elise Solé
Melissa Stinsman, a mail carrier in Pennsylvania, plans to make Christmas for a family in need, very special. (Photo: DesRae Holden, courtesy of Melissa Stinsman)

A mail carrier answered a letter from Santa that asked for “food and clothing” and brightened one family’s Christmas.

Melissa Stinsman, a mail carrier for the Bloomsburg Post Office in Pennsylvania, delights in answering children’s letters to Santa Claus, which her station collects in a special mailbox. During the holiday season after her work shift, Stinsman voluntarily spends four hours a night answering the letters from her home, a.k.a., the “North Pole.”

“I usually tell the kids to keep up their grades and to listen to their parents,” Stinsman, 26, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “One asked for a science kit so I told him that one day, he could become a scientist. “

But a letter that Stinsman received on Monday, broke her heart. Among the typical requests — Roblox toys, Legos — were “Food for family” and “Clothing for family.” The 9-year-old child had written, “Dear Santa, I am going to star the top three items I really want.” Both necessities, including a trampoline, were marked.

A child's letter addressed to Santa broke a mail carrier's heart, so she fulfilled the wishlist. (Photo: Courtesy of Melissa Stinsman)

Also in the envelope were two other letters. One from the same boy read, “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...” Another was a list from his 5-year-old brother.

“When I read the letter, I cried,” Stinsman tells Yahoo Lifestyle. She wanted to help, but the letter had no return address. However, the child had provided his full name, so Stinsman asked around, and finally, another mail carrier recognized the last name from the route.

On Tuesday, Stinsman hesitantly knocked on the family’s door. “I said, ‘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,’” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The mom said, ‘Is this real?’”

Stinsman had planned to buy the family a $50 gift card, but instead started a money pool. Soon, the community was donating gift cards, toys, and clothing. “We raised about $500 and people dropped off food at the post office,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

She will deliver gift cards to a local grocery store early enough to allow the family time to prepare a Christmas dinner. The rest of the packages will be brought over on Christmas Eve. “I hope the kids will be distracted when I come,” says Stinsman. “I want them to believe they came from Santa.”

Stinsman wants to start Christmas tradition, telling Yahoo Lifestyle. “It’s doable if everyone comes together.” 

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