The U.S. Postal Service is asking for more help this year from people willing to "adopt a Santa family," as letters to Santa grow more urgent from those hard hit by the economy.
Every year the Post Office gets a million letters to Santa nationwide. About 30,000 of those are from the Greater Los Angeles area. While many letters still reflect the fantasy wishes -- one boy wanted a sleigh ride, a little girl wished to be transformed into a mermaid -- other letters came from children who described their tough economic circumstances.
One child wrote "I'm thankful that we still have a house and one bed to sleep in at night but going to bed on an empty stomach hurts and it hurts because I hear my two little sisters cry because they are hungry and cant go to sleep."
People willing to respond to the letters as "Santa's Helpers" can do so by visiting the Santa Clarita Processing Office 28201 Franklin Parkway in Santa Clarita. Individuals can "adopt" up to 10 letters while businesses respond to an unlimited number.
Visitor Amanda Howton of Castaic came by with her friend Danille Gruhlke.
"When you think about when you were a child all the toys you got, and these poor kids are just asking for some clothes, there's a little girl that just wants a dinner. It's really sad and it'd be nice if more people can come down here and give back put some smiles on little kids faces," Howton said.