Program provides kids with Santa’s personal greetings



ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Staff and volunteers from the Alpharetta Department of Parks and Recreation spent time before the holidays playing Santa to area children.

For the past several years, the city has operated a special program to answer children’s letters written to Santa by installing a special mailbox at Wills Park Recreation Center. Beginning Nov. 28 and running through Dec. 16, workers read and responded to around 110 letters received this year, according to Jenny Simpson, recreation supervisor.

In all, seven volunteers worked with staff to ensure all letters were answered.

Many of the letters originated from children at the Alpharetta Primrose School, where close to 50 youngsters participated.

“One of the big things that is important to us is involvement in the community,” said Primrose Executive Director Amanda Coffman. “It’s just one way for our kids to be a part of the community and make it a little easier for the parents.”

The school set up its own mailbox to collect letters that would be forwarded to the Wills Park facility.

“We’ve been doing this for about three years,” Coffman said. “Basically, we’re the in-between, so parents don’t have to take time to drive over to Wills Park.”

Not all the letters included wish lists. Some were expressions of gratitude.

“Some were just pictures,” Coffman said. “It’s really neat. We try to make it a big deal, and every year we get more participation.”

—Patrick Fox

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