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Letters to Santa initiative successful

Approximately 100 pieces of mail sent to North Pole from Berlin mailbox this yr.

Rachel Ravina/Bayside Gazette
Approximately 100 people participate in the Letters to Santa campaign by sending letters to the North Pole via the “Letters to Santa” mailbox located in the Berlin Welcome Center on 14 S. Main St.

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(Jan. 2, 2020) About 100 people got into the holiday spirit and sent a letter to the North Pole through the Letters to Santa campaign last month, according to Ivy Wells, the economic and community development director for Berlin.

People were able to submit the mail to the “Letters to Santa” mailbox in the foyer of the welcome center on South Main Street from the week of Thanksgiving until Thursday, Dec. 19.

Wells acted as Santa’s helper in ensuring the letters got to their final destination: the North Pole.

Wells said she was inspired to bring the campaign to Berlin about five years ago after starting the initiative in her last job in Sykesville, Maryland.

Wells said the concept was open to all children, and that there were a few “standout” letters this year.

“So the standout for this year … it says, ‘I want things for Santa because he gets other people things but no one gives anything,’” Wells read from a letter.

Others outlined some of the top present requests on their lists.

“Somebody else wrote, ‘I want a real live dog,’” Wells said. She also said that the children’s letters ranged from comical to heartwarming.

“So there’s always some standouts that catch our eye,” Wells said. “That either make us laugh or make us cry.”

Wells also said they’ve received letters from across the nation with some addresses as far away as California.

With the help of Santa, Mrs. Claus and Wells, each child received a “personalized letter” from Old St. Nick, as well as a coupon for a “free treat” from the following downtown locations: Baked Dessert Cafe, Crush N Crab, Island Creamery, On What Grounds, and Rayne’s Reef Soda Fountain & Grill.

“Ultimately, the goal for us is to get people to always come back to Berlin,” Wells said. “So the way to get them to come back is by giving them a reason to.”