Families have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and it’s become especially apparent this Christmas.
During the festive season, the United States Postal Service (USPS) hosts its ‘Operation Santa’ campaign which allows people to answer children’s letters to Santa. While in the past, members of the public could only read the letters in person by visiting their local post office, the campaign has moved online this year due to the pandemic.
Since these letters are now available for anyone to read, people have noticed that many of them are incredibly devastating and speak to the financial difficulties that families have faced this year.
One particular tweet by PhD student Hilary Agro went viral, as she shared screenshots of four letters. “I am in shambles,” she wrote. “We live in the cruelest society.”
The letters to Santa are a difficult read. One by 11-year-old Kayla asks Santa for “a couch that is also a bed”. “The reason I would like a couch that is also a bed is because I have an apartment that only has one room,” she explains. “My parents sleep in the living room on the couch and they always wake up with back pain.”
In another letter, a young girl named Vicky asks for a power wheelchair because her current one is “very old and does not want to work”. Meanwhile, 10-year-old Julian only wants $100 for Christmas to help his parents with paying the bills.
Argo continued by explaining that this is a consequence of capitalism and the existence of billionaires.
Since her thread caught the attention of thousands, people have been sharing their disappointment in the system that allows extreme poverty like this to happen.
The letters are eye-opening to say the least.