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CNN Today

Local Volunteers Help Fill Christmas Wish Lists

Aired December 20, 2000 - 2:55 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: The postal service gets bags and bags of letters, of course, for Santa Claus this time of year and because mail delivery is rather difficult because of the weather at the North Pole and because Santa's mailbox isn't, as it turns out, all that large, postal workers turn to local good Samaritans to help fill the Christmas wish lists for many folks.

Jack Harper of CNN Boston affiliate WCVB has the story.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JACK HARPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Santa's postal helpers have already sorted a couple of thousand secret Santa letters this year.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm writing this in hopes you can remember my family. My dad left us before I was born, so my mom has to do it all. She is the best. Santa, my wish list is simple and if you could help us it would help us so much.

HARPER: Patty Golatas (ph) matches up the letters with good Samaritans who step in as Santa's helpers with presents.

RAY LONDON, SANTA'S HELPER: I always announce that I'm delivering for Santa Claus and their eyes just open up.

HARPER: Ray London has helped deliver merry Christmases through this program for 30 years. He just likes doing it.

LONDON: And it's a great joy, really.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love this thing. Look it, and then they ran out of paper so they decided to finish it up on a napkin.

HARPER: Seem likes the Samaritans always come through. The Ham family got a visit from Mr. London last Saturday.

(on camera): What would you say to Mr. London if you had a chance?

ELNORA HAM, MOTHER: Thank you, Mr. London. I really appreciate what you did for me.

HARPER: It's nice -- it's really the spirit of Christmas, isn't it?

HAM: Yes.

HARPER (voice-over): For Elnora's mother, this Christmas is an emotional time, but watching her grandson opening a couple of his presents early has helped the entire family.

(on camera): So, you've got some stuff under the tree to open, huh?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

HARPER: Is that good?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

HARPER: What do you say to the secret Santa who helped Santa out?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.

HARPER (voice-over): This is one of those times the thank yous are all around the tree.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, there's a good Christmas story.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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