Things That Matter

The U.S. Postal Service’s ‘Letters To Santa’ From Children Reveals The Heartbreaking Impact Of The Pandemic

Every year thousands of children across the United States address their letters for Santa to the United States Postal Service. Back in 1912, the independent agency created its Operation Santa program, an initiative that allows local postmasters to respond to letters created by needy children.

This year, the initiative has reported that, unlike previous years, the letters to Santa this year have struck a different tune. This year many of the letters sent to Santa have reflected on the devastating effects of the current coronavirus pandemic.

Letters published by the USPS reveal that this year, children are putting more practical desires on their Christmas wish lists this year.

While many students have asked Santa to provide a cure for COVID-19, the Postal Service says that other letters mention the struggles they’ve seen their parents experience because of job loss.

One letter written to Santa mentioned how “this year has been very tough” and explained, “I lost my daddy and my grandpa, and my mommy is having a rough time… Maybe you can send her some happiness.”

Another letter written to Santa asked for a specific game. “Most of these days in COVID, I feel really down in the dumps and that game will kinda be like my way to escape reality.”

According to letters published by CNN, children shared the challenges of learning remotely and one note revealed how a child’s mother wouldn’t be able to “get anything for me for Christmas because she is not getting paid as much so she cannot afford anything.”

USPS spokesperson Kimberly Frum recently stated that she hopes that by fulfilling some of these letters, Operation Santa will be able to provide a “spark of happiness” much needed by families at this time.

“It will be hard to celebrate the holidays without loved ones, whether because of distance or actual loss,” Frum explained. “But being able to provide even the tiniest bit of normalcy or spark of happiness to those in need would mean the world to so many people right now… The holidays are about kindness, joy, love, family, and friends… The adopters of the letters in the program truly embody the spirit of the season by opening their hearts and showing those in need that they are not alone and they deserve to have a special season too.”

Speaking about the Santa program, Frum went onto share that USPS employees believe it is essential at the moment.

“The program has always been about providing holiday gifts for families who may not have the means to provide for anything more than basic everyday needs,” Frum told People. “This year, there are likely more families impacted financially and emotionally.”

Letters will continue to be accepted into Dec. 15.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a recipient of the Operation Santa program write a letter to Santa Claus at 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888. Be sure to include your full name and address and a first-class stamp in the upper right corner. Don’t forget to be specific with names and requests for toys including sizes for clothing and titles of games and books.

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Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

Things That Matter

Ecuadorian Sisters, 3 And 5, Dropped By Smugglers From 14 Ft High Mexico-US Border Wall

New York Post

A recent video shared by a border patrol agent highlighted a shocking moment of smugglers literally dropping two little girls over a 14-foot high fence in the New Mexico desert. Right in the dead of night.

In the disturbing video, the smugglers can be seen climbing the fence and then dropping the two 5-year-old and 3-year-old sisters to the ground.

El Paso Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez shared that the incident occurred “miles from the nearest residence.”

The two little girls (Yareli, 3, and Yasmina, 5) were rescued after agents spotted them during a virtual surveillance sweep. The two sisters are from Ecuador and were dumped by human smugglers at the border wall according to an official.

“[US Immigration officials] need to verify the identity of the parents and confirm they are the parents and make sure they are in good condition to receive the girls,” Magdalena Nunez, of the Consulate of Ecuador in Houston, explained to The New York Post on Thursday. “It’s a process … We’re working to make sure it’s an expedited process and the girls spend as minimal time as possible separated from their parents.”

“Hopefully it can happen soon, in a week or two, but  it can take up to six weeks. We are working to make sure sure it happens as quickly as possible,” she explained before noting that the two sisters are “doing very well.”

“We have been in contact with them and confirmed they are in good health,” Nunez shared. “Physically, they are perfect — emotionally, obviously, they went through a hard time, but I guarantee you right now they are in good health and they are conversing. They are very alert, very intelligent.”

In a statement about the incident, the Ecuadorian consulate confirmed that the two girls had been in touch with their parents, who live in New York City.

“The Ecuadorian Consulate in Houston had a dialogue with the minors and found that they are in good health and that they contacted their parents, who currently live in New York City,” explained the consulate.

In a statement from the girls’ parents sent to Telemundo, the girls’ parents had left their daughters behind at their home in Jaboncillo, Ecuador, to travel to the US. The parents of the two girls have been identified as Yolanda Macas Tene and Diego Vacacela Aguilar. According to the New York Post, “The girls’ grandparents have asked President Biden to reunite the children with their parents. Aguilar paid a human smuggler to take his kids to the border — though the grandparents didn’t know how much they paid.”

“[The parents] wanted to be with them, their mother suffered a lot, for that reason they decided to take them,” paternal grandfather Lauro Vacacela explained in an interview with Univision.

It is still uncertain as to whether or not the girls’ parents are in the country legally.

Photos of the girls showed them having snacks with Agent Gloria Chavez.

“When I visited with these little girls, they were so loving and so talkative, some of them were asking the names of all the agents that were there around them, and they even said they were a little hungry,” Chavez told Fox News. “So I helped them peel a banana and open a juice box and just talked to them. You know, children are just so resilient and I’m so grateful that they’re not severely injured or [have] broken limbs or anything like that.”

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She Moved Up The Ranks From Janitor To Nurse Practitioner, Now She’s Viral

Fierce

She Moved Up The Ranks From Janitor To Nurse Practitioner, Now She’s Viral

Talk about a dream fulfilled.

For ten years, Jaines Andrades harbored her desire to move up from her custodial position at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts to nurse. Now, ten years later, as an RN she’s excelled well past her drams.

Andrades worked her way through nursing school while working at Baystate Medical in Springfield, Massachusetts, as a janitor.

Ten years ago, Andrades accepted a position as a custodial staff member at Baystate Medical Center with big dreams of being a nurse. Born to Puerto Rican parents Andrades moved from her family home in Springfield, MA in 2005 when she was 14 years old. From there she and enrolled as a student at Putnam Technical-Vocational Academy with hopes of moving up the ranks as a nurse.

“As I got older and approached graduation I just didn’t see how a little girl like me could ever become a lawyer. I didn’t see it as something that was possible for me, so I got discouraged from the idea,” Andrades explained according to Masslive.com.

That all changed after she struck up a conversation with a nurse during a doctor’s visit for her mother. According to Andrades, the nurse tipped her off on the benefits of nursing. “He told me about the program to become a nurse, and, the more he talked, I just thought, ‘Yeah, I can do this.’ It’s a respectable profession, and I could provide for myself financially, so the idea grew from there.”

Soon after she enrolled at Holyoke Community College, ticked off all of her pre-requisites and a handful of introductory nursing classes. Then, in 2010, she transferred to Elms College.

The same year she transferred, Andrades applied for a job in Baystate’s Environmental Services Department and became a custodian at the hospital.

Facebook

“It’s tough to be the person that cleans. If I had to go back and do it again, I would. It’s so worth it,” Andrades explained in an interview with WBZ-TV.

In a Facebook post, Andrades wrote about her journey from hospital custodian to nurse practitioner and posted a picture of all three of her IDs.

Andrades’ story went viral after she shared her experience to Facebook.

Speaking about her journey from custodian to nurse practitioner, Andrades shared a picture of all three of her IDs.

“Even if it was cleaning, as long as I was near patient care I’d be able to observe things. I thought it was a good idea,” the RN explained in her interview before sharing that her favorite part of being a nurse has been her ability to provide patients with comfort. “I just really love the intimacy with people.”

“Nurses and providers, we get the credit more often but people in environmental and phlebotomy and dietary all of them have such a huge role. I couldn’t do my job without them,” she went onto explain. “I’m so appreciative and like in awe that my story can inspire people,” Andrades told WBZ-TV. “I’m so glad. If I can inspire anyone, that in itself made the journey worth it.”

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