Postal Workers Play Santa Claus

December 09, 1992|By Ed Brandt | Ed Brandt,Staff Writer

Santa will arrive with a pouch instead of a paunch this Christmas at the doors of 30 needy senior citizens in Baltimore County, thanks to the staff of the Eudowood post office.

The 131 employees of the Eudowood station have been contributing part of their paychecks since Thanksgiving toward a long list of food, clothing and other items for the 30 people whose names they obtained from the county Department of Aging.

"The members of the staff are going to have a good Christmas," said station manager Chris Ogle. "We make good salaries and we want to share the season with people who don't have as much as we do."

Last year, the station's employees contributed more than $500 toward a Christmas for a family of 11 whose father was unemployed.

"We found the family through a letter carrier," Mr. Ogle said. "The children used to run up to him while he was delivering the mail. They were quite friendly, and called him 'Uncle Charlie.' Then he noticed they didn't have shoes and looked undernourished."

"We kind of decided to help them on the spur of the moment, and everyone here responded in a grand way," he said.

The post office staff provided food, clothing, toys, and other items such as toothbrushes, soap and toothpaste to the family, which included children from 18 months to 16 years of age.

One of the staff dressed as Santa Claus and distributed a gift to each child while his colleagues spirited more gifts into the basement of the house to be opened on Christmas day.

"We had to distract them a little bit so we wouldn't blow the whole thing two days before Christmas," Mr. Ogle said. "You really had to be there to appreciate what it meant to them and to us. Two of the youngest boys were bouncing around like little bear cubs, they were so excited."

Mr. Ogle and the staff looked for a bigger challenge this year.

An office committee decided to help the elderly, and the Department on Aging supplied the names of those it thought were most in need.

Mr. Ogle and the staff looked for a bigger challenge this year.

On one wall of the Eudowood post office is a chart showing the accumulation of money through each payday, along with a list of food and gifts to be delivered.

Included are 30 turkeys purchased from Giant at cost, and 30 fruit baskets from Harold's Fruit Stand, obtained at cost.

There will also be gifts such as T-shirts and coffee mugs, and personal items such as writing paper and toiletries.

The Sunday before Christmas, the staff will gather at the post office to make up the 30 large baskets and deliver them in their own cars.

"We know there are other post offices in the area doing charitable things . . . but I can say it gives us all a wonderful feeling," Mr. Ogle said.

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