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Letters to Santa Claus are more heartbreaking this year because of high unemployment and the economic crisis, workers at the U.S. Postal Service say. Each year workers at more than 20 post offices log in every letter to Santa Claus and ask the public to respond to the requests, USA Today reported Wednesday

Head Elf Pete Fontana of New York City’s main post office said his crew will sort 2 million letters for Operation Santa.

“The need is greater this year than I’ve ever seen it,” said Fontana who has been in charge for 15 years. “One little girl didn’t want anything for herself. She wanted a winter coat for her mother.”

Another child penned a letter to Santa for himself and his baby sister.

“This year my mom don’t have much money to spend on Christmas gifts so I’m writing to you,” Cesar, 7, wrote.

Postal workers said some of the letters to Santa are from unemployed parents asking for gifts for their children.

One mother included a turn-off notice from the electric company in her letter.

Mark Reynolds of the Chicago district said the percentage of people who need help has increased this year, adding that about half of the letters won’t get answered.

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