JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The U.S. Post Office in Jonesboro Wednesday said more children have been writing letters to Santa Claus this year asking for essential items rather than toys.
According to Lenora Wilson, Santa's Head Elf in Jonesboro, children have been asking Santa for jobs for their parents and clothing for themselves. Some have been asking for beds and blankets.
"Mostly they're asking for toys, but there have been a few that are asking for personal needs and mom and dad for a job or a bed or something of that nature," said Wilson.
It's a trend found across the country, which still faces financial burdens. According to the U.S. Postal Service in New York City, elves will sort more than 2-million letters in Operation Santa; however, more of those children realize their family is in need. The same situation has been playing out at offices across Region 8.
"The economy, for starters and a lot of them are asking for jobs for their parents and they just don't have the funds," said Wilson.
With a tear in her eye, Wilson read one letter that struck her heart. It was a letter from a little girl named Jessica. It was addressed to Heaven.
"I received one this week and it was to God and it really touched my heart," said Wilson.
"Dear God. Dear God. Can you please send me some friends? Just one. Jessica," read Wilson.
Wilson said many kids have been hurting for a long time. Many parents have been unable to afford presents to put under a tree. Wilson said many kids don't even have a tree to enjoy.
"You want every child and every human being to be happy, to have just the basic needs and a lot of them don't," said Wilson.
Region 8 News also spoke with the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program in Hardy Wednesday. A representative of the program said more people have been hurting this year in Sharp County as well.
Wilson read another letter from a young girl who wanted a car for her parents so that they could find a job. She also wanted a dog, so her other dog could have a friend.
"Santa sends us a letter and we get it out through the mail and just kind of dress up the envelope a little bit and let them know Santa did get their letter and we're getting it back to them," said Wilson.
Wilson said many charitable organizations have been suffering this Christmas season because donations have been dropping due to the heavy load placed on them.
"She also thanked God for life and that's the way we all (are.) I'm getting a little emotional here, but we all should be thankful for that and just thank God for being God," said Wilson. "Santa is going to find Jessica and I would like to meet Jessica also."