Letters to Santa Claus Reveal More Than Toys on Christmas Lists

The U.S. Post Office sorts through letters to Santa Claus from eager children for the past 100 years
1:59 | 12/24/12

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Transcript for Letters to Santa Claus Reveal More Than Toys on Christmas Lists
Even in the age of e mail, kids are still composing thousands of hand-written letters to santa. For the past century, the postoffice has been collecting notes from needy children and matching them with donors. As abc's sharyn alfonsi learned, this year, kids are asking for a lot more than toys. ♪ We wish you a merry christmas ♪ Reporter: Nothing captures the hopefulness of christmas like those "dear santa" letters. But this year, at new york's main post office, the people who sorted through those letters to santa noticed something else -- a change in mood. It's pretty desperate. Reporter: Peter fontana is the head elf here. I'm a 9-year-old and I live in a shelter. Reporter: Fortunately, this brooklyn-born elf believes in mies. This letter asked for a queen-sized bed because the kids were sleeping on the floor in the basement. When I put that letter down, my phone rang and it was a bed company asking how they can help. Reporter: For all those 100 years, the post office has been matching donors with needy children. I need your help this year, santa. Reporter: These two pitched in to help three kids who lost their father to cancer. Got her a baby doll that she wanted. Reporter: And there are thousands more. I am 8 years old. I love toys too, but I really need a book bag for school. Reporter: Each letter filled with so much faith. Please help me by sending some clothes and a pair of shoes. Reporter: Sure that somehow, their letters will reach santa. Sometimes it's really hard because the mailman can't really walk through the snow. Reporter: And somehow, santa will find them. How does santa get into your apartment? The little hole for the dryer. Reporter: He gets in through the hole for the dryer? Belief, very much alive. That santa and all his elves can somehow fill the gaps. Can you get me some new teeth? Reporter: And there will be plenty of smiling children tomorrow. ♪ Good tidings for christmas and a happy new year ♪ Reporter: Sharyn alfonsi, abc news, new york.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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