As Christmas approaches, Linda and Jeanette Bokland’s team of elves are working hard to get every child a response from Mrs. Claus.

Since the call went out inviting kids to write to Santa, more than 400 letters have filled the North Pole Express mailbox at Linda and Jeanette Bokland’s Mount Dora home.


And as Christmas approaches, their team of elves are working hard to get every child a response from Mrs. Claus.


“It has meant so much to the kids when they receive a letter from the North Pole,” Linda said. “The letters are so sweet. One boy wrote that he just wanted everyone to be happy because that is what Christmas is about.”


Calling themselves Team Elf, a group of volunteers get together at the Bokland’s home to help them with their responses. Many of the letters were filled with requests for Barbies, Legos and other toys. Some had detailed lists with wishes numbered from one to 35. Although the team of elves were instructed to promise nothing specific, each return letter was personalized and stamped with the official North Pole emblem, reminding the kids to be kind and they can expect a surprise Christmas morning.


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“It’s a very warming feeling to see how many children want to reach out to Santa,” volunteer elf Cassie Bareford said. “As adults, we think of it as just an illusion hearing their excitement in their list is just heart warming for me. There was a few kids that really touched close to my heart because their Christmas wish was for peace in their family. My family went through a lot, to the point of being homeless when I was eight, so I try to give them a little extra support in keeping faith that everything will be okay.”


Another letter that stood out to the group was from a child with autism who was requesting a specific type of coloring book. The group was so moved from his letter that a few individuals went out in search for this particular coloring book and delivered it to him last week, also gifting his mother with a gift card to purchase more for him in the future.


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“I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful gift you sent my son,” a return thank you letter said. “He loves his new books. Although being a mom of an autistic child is hard, I wouldn’t change it for the world. He is perfect just the way he is. My son has the biggest heart and has so much to offer and I’m so glad that we have the opportunity to share it with you. People like you are a true blessing.”


This story originally published to dailycommercial.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the new Gannett Media network.