Fort Valley residents granting kids’ Christmas wishes with giant red mailbox

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FORT VALLEY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Santa’s got a special delivery center for letters right here in Middle Georgia and it’s in the heart of downtown Fort Valley.

Santa’s Mailbox is making Christmas wishes for kids in the community come true.

“We saw those letters and that’s when we knew there was still something magical about Christmas,” said Santa’s Mailbox creator Al Horton.

Kids who put their letters in Santa’s Mailbox can expect the unexpected.

“The magic is getting something unexpected from somewhere, from somebody. It’s just magical to wake up the next day and there’s something there with your name on it that you didn’t expect,” Horton continued.

Al Horton and his wife Tisa say they started Santa’s Mailbox last year and got the idea from a trip to New York City’s Times Square.

“Going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade and we saw that Macy’s had the large Santa’s Mailbox, I said that would be something nice to have in Fort Valley so we decided to build the mailbox,” she said.

But they took what they saw in the Big Apple one step further.

“We thought about how we could answer the kids, and try to get something to them off of their wish list,” she said.

The Horton’s say this year Santa’s Mailbox had about 50 letters to come in from kids all over and they’re hoping in years to come to double that number.

“The most important thing that I saw was there were kids coming–not just from Fort Valley but from surrounding communities–Perry, Roberta, Reynolds, Marshaville, Montezuma, our brothers and sisters right outside of the line,” Al said.

With help from donations, they were able to get presents for all those who submitted letters. Tisa says they’ll do anything they can to help the community they love.

“Everybody needs love and we just wanted to share our love with everyone in the community, give back and to help some of the parents,” she added.

Sharing their experience and adding a home town twist, the Horton family is putting Fort Valley on the map and Santa’s radar.