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Phila.'s Operation Santa Claus ends, not affected by NYC privacy breach

Inquirer staff writer Robert Moran reports:

Operation Santa Claus — the program that lets people respond to children's letters to Santa — has concluded in Philadelphia and was "hugely successful," a spokeswoman said.

The end of the program, which had been scheduled to conclude Dec. 22, had nothing to do with a "privacy breach" in New York yesterday that resulted in the program being shut down there and in other cities, said Carol Yarosky of the United States Postal Service.

A man identified as a registered sex offender had "adopted" a letter in New York, which led the Postal Service to at least temporarily terminate the program.

Yarosky said the main branch in Philadelphia had received between 700 and 1,000 letters since Dec. 1, but had only between 10 to 15 left as of Wednesday. Those remaining letters were given to employees to respond to.
"Operation Santa has been in Philadelphia for about 25 years and it always has been a popular program," she said.
The program in Philadelphia has not experienced a problem since it started, she said.
"Hopefully we're going to do this next year," she said.

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