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Raich Ende Malter "elves" answer Letters to Santa

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By Danielle Lee
December 31, 2013

New York City-based accounting firm Raich Ende Malter & Co. raised over $6,000 in cash and donations participating in the United States Postal Service’s Letters to Santa program.

The cash and donations, which included wrapping paper, toys, unused baby clothes and blankets, were for the 35 letters the firm “adopted,” for 73 kids aged newborn to teenager.

“Most of our letters asked for clothes, boots for the winter, toys, books, and dolls,” stated Vickie Pellegrino, partner at the firm and member of the firm’s corporate responsibility program, REM-CO Cares. “We even had one child ask for toys for her dog, so we sent the dog toys and treats. We also included a gift for the mothers and grandmothers mentioned in the children’s letters.”

The USPS has received letters addressed to Santa for more than 100 years and since 1912, under postmaster general Frank Hitchcock, postal employees and citizens have been allowed to respond.

The largest program, “Operation Santa” at the James A. Foley Post Office in New York City, has volunteers answering as many as 500,000 letters a year.

More than 25 employees acted as “elves” for the program, collecting donations, shopping for gifts, and then wrapping and delivering them to the James A. Foley Post Office. The firm shipped out 41 boxes of more than 250 wrapped gifts, coloring books, crayons and stickers.

“The participation from the firm and its employees was heartwarming,” Pellegrino continued. “Many of our volunteers adopted a letter and went shopping with their families. Shayla Cohen, the 13-year-old daughter of bookkeeper Denise Cohen, donated all her birthday money to buy an Xbox for the child in the letter they adopted, because she was touched by his letter.”

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