From All Things Considered:
SIEGEL: Joining us from New York City's main post office is head elf, Pete Fontana. He's been working with the U.S. Postal Service Operation Santa for 15 years. Welcome to the program.
Mr. PETE FONTANA (Operation Santa Claus, U.S. Postal Service): Well, thank you for having me.
SIEGEL: And what have you noticed that's different in tone this year about the letters to Santa Claus?
Mr. FONTANA: Well, normally the letters would be what you said, you know, more like greedy-type things - big televisions, Xboxs, Wiis, things of that nature, MacBooks. This year, the letters are single moms, three kids, no winter coats, no shoes, blankets, can't pay the bills, not enough food in the pantry. So the need has changed tremendously.
SIEGEL: Perhaps you can read a couple of those letters to us, Pete.
Mr. FONTANA: Hold on. Here's one from Christopher(ph). Dear Santa, My name is Christopher. I'm 11 years old and I have a sister. Her name is Bethania(ph). She is two years old. And I have a brother who is nine months. If possible, we would like some educational toys and some winter clothes. I would like something to make my mommy happy 'cause she is getting chemotherapy after breast surgery. Something like a hat or a scarf for her. Thank you very much, Christopher.
SIEGEL: Now, your program at the post office is designed to pair children in need with volunteers who might donate gifts. I would imagine that you always see letters like this every year. Is this year really different?
Mr. FONTANA: I would say that this year there just seems to be more needy and less greedy I hate to rhyme it but it just seems that thats what the trend is.