‘Dear Santa’ letters in good hands

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

So, where do letters to the North Pole go?

Every year, kids all over Selma and Dallas County send letters to the North Pole with lists of what they would like for the Christmas holiday.

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With restrictions on international mail following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and chemicals such as anthrax being a continual threat, children sending mail this holiday season are using a postal service that works somewhat differently than the one their parents used.

Letters mailed from Orrville and Marion are sent on to Montgomery to be processed. In Montgomery, they are handled by consumer services and the postmaster secretary.

Debbie Howe, customer service coordinator for the Montgomery post office, said the Montgomery office gets about 500 letters each holiday season. Some letters ask for toys, while others have asked for a parent to get a new job or a sibling to get better, Howe said.

Each letter is read and personally handled, Howe said. “We gather them up and send them to the North Pole.”

In Maplesville, postmaster Sherry Burt takes care of letters locally. She expects to get about 10 letters from children this year. Burt said some letters are lists, and some are very detailed.

Burt said she keeps copies of letters to give to children when they get older.

“This has worked well in other communities,” Burt said. “I look forward to Christmas in this community.”

This year will be Burt’s first Christmas in Maplesville.

All postmasters said every letter is handled with care.