Ahead of Christmas day, thousands of letters pour into USPS offices around the nation addressed to the Big Guy and a new six-episode docuseries, Dear Santa, is giving a peek at some of the most memorable.
The USPS program known as Operation Santa has been in existence in the United States since 1912. This year marks the 112th anniversary of the big production of sorting and getting those thousands of letters to Old Saint Nick through
Operation Santa couldn’t be done without the help of many human elves including a few in Raleigh.
USPS employee Belinda Hiltbruner and Shaw University Director of Bands, Andrae King are both featured in Dear Santa airing on WTVD/ABC11 on Christmas Eve. Hiltbruner helps sort the letters and gifts brought in for adopted letters and King helped to make a nine-year-old girl’s dream of becoming a musician come true after she wrote it in her letter.
“She got to spend a day with the marching band,” King explained.
“My students took her out and taught her how to play the drum and she got to march around with her and her dad. As a father of two girls myself I loved how I was able to give her an experience that she would never forget and meet her and her dad and really get to know them. It was just an enjoyable experience,” King added.
Hiltbruner has been sorting the letters for decades and says they bring her a lot of joy.
“Sometimes children are asking for family members, things for their siblings, for their animals for cats, their dogs, and not always for them,” Hiltbruner said.
“And that’s really cool. Some ask like this even one girl said that her mama wants peace and quiet!”
Dear Santa, The Series will air on ABC11 on Christmas Eve.