DORCHESTER (WBZ-AM) -- Patrick Reynolds' thoughts this time of year are with families who struggle to fulfill their Christmas wishes.
That's why he created "Be An Elf" to bring attention to the US Postal Service's Project Santa program, which answers letters to Santa Claus from needy children.
"You go down to the post office on Dorchester there in Boston, you can find letters from children, from moms who are writing for help at Christmas," Reynolds told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Kendall Buhl.
Thousands of letters to Santa find their way to post offices every year.
The idea behind Be An Elf is, Good Samaritans pick one or more of those letters and go shopping for the gifts those children will find under their tree Christmas morning.
Reynolds, a scion of the Reynolds Tobbacco family, said gift cards for the parents to do the shopping also work well.
"Sometimes we simply send gift cards, because the moms will know best what to do for shopping, and that way, instead of adopting one or two letters, we can adopt a lot more," he said.
Here in Boston, it's the Dorchester post office participating in Be An Elf. You can learn more about the program at beanelf.org.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kendall Buhl reports