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US Postal service takes Operation Santa online amid Covid-19 pandemic

US Postal service takes Operation Santa online amid Covid-19 pandemic



For more than a century, it was a simple way of making a childs dreams come true during Christmas. Volunteers could go to the post office, sift through piles of letters that children had sent to Santa Claus and pick one — or more — that tugged at their heartstrings. Gifts were then acquired, wrapped and shipped to families whose space beneath the tree might otherwise be bare.



With the coronavirus pandemic still raging, however, the US Postal Service announced Monday that it was taking its annual Operation Santa campaign nationwide, and that letters to Santa could be read exclusively online by people across the country.

然而,随着新冠疫情的肆虐,美国邮政总局11月16日宣布,一年一度的“圣诞老人行动” 今年将在全美各地开展,而且寄给圣诞老人的信件将由全美各地的人们在网上阅读。


Some things arent changing: Much as it had over the past 108 years, the Postal Service said that it was inviting American children to write letters and to mail them to the North Pole, using a special address and ZIP code and affixing the proper postage.



This year, however, the letters will be uploaded to the Operation Santa website, so long as they are legible and make specific requests for items like toys, clothes or games. Starting December 4, postal customers can then read them and choose to send gifts with their responses, with a signature saying its from Santa.



Covid-19 has caused undue hardships, both financial and emotional, to so many Americans this year, Kimberly Frum, a spokeswoman for the Postal Service, said in an email. The program provides kids and families with an opportunity to receive gifts during the holidays from anonymous, generous postal customers.



Those customers used to review the letters in person, but Operation Santa has moved largely online in recent years after a pilot program in 2017. By 2019, the online operation had expanded to 15 cities, including New York, Chicago, Denver and Grand Rapids, Michigan, to enhance the ability for generous people across the nation to help those in need no matter where they live, Frum said.



So-called legacy programs still operated in New York and Chicago, where customers could go to a post office to read letters in person, but those programs will not be offered this year because of the pandemic, Frum said.



Widespread job losses have contributed to a situation in which 1 in 8 families dont have enough to eat. Though jobs have started to return, with last months jobs report showing a full percentage point drop in the unemployment rate, the number of long-term unemployed people — those out of work for more than half a year — rose by 50% to 3.6 million. And a steep increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks threatens those fragile economic gains.



The Postal Service said the Operation Santa program had received hundreds of thousands of letters each year.



It seems like a small thing, Frum said. “But for anyone who is struggling, its a huge deal to be able to give or receive a gift and share in a bit of the joy that is the holiday season.


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  • 来源:英语世界 2020-11-23