You Can Help Fulfill Letters To Santa From Kids In Need Through USPS Program

by Cassandra Stone
Originally Published: 

Operation Santa allows anyone to ‘answer’ letters from kids in need

The holiday season is an ever-present reminder that not every family is created equal when it comes to giving their children Christmas presents. Thanks to the United States Postal Service’s “Operation Santa” letters to Santa program, anyone can help make a child’s Christmas a little brighter, and this year it’s easier than ever because it’s all digital.

All across the country, children of all ages and backgrounds will write letters to Santa asking for the toys and other items they wish to receive for Christmas this year. Children from lower-income homes may not get the toys they want, or the warm coats or shoes they need. This year, however, if they write a letter to the big jolly guy, anyone can “adopt” the letter and fulfill the child’s Christmas requests.

Starting now, letters are available for adoption online through the USPS Operation Santa website. You can pick any letter from any city in the entire country, and the entire process of gift-giving is also tax-deductible.

Operation Santa Claus began in 1912 when United States Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to start responding to needy children. Every since, the USPS and those generous enough to give have been helping create Christmas magic for children everywhere.

“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,” USPS spokeswoman Kim Frum told CNN. During the last 108 years, the USPS has received hundreds of thousands of letters as part of the program. In 2019, more than 11,000 packages were sent to people who wrote to Santa and had their letters “adopted.”

To get started, you just have to sign up with a verified email address to create your own account through the program. You can choose a letter from an individual child, or one from an entire family in 15 cities across the U.S. The full names of the letter-writers are kept private, but the USPS has their information to ensure your gift is placed in the right hands.

The decision to go fully digital comes as COVID-19 cases continue to spike nationwide, causing a recession and delays in mail delivery everywhere.

“This year, there are likely more families impacted financially and emotionally,” Frum said. “It will be hard to celebrate the holidays without loved ones, whether because of distance or actual loss. 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.”

It’s not easy asking for help. Far from it. Which is why a program like this is so wonderful — it’s (mostly) anonymous and allows people in need to feel comfortable reaching out for holiday help, and simultaneously providing a way for generous people to donate.

Families in need who would like to write a letter to participate in “Operation Santa” can send letters to the big man himself at his “official” address in the North Pole:

Santa Claus

123 Elf Road North Pole, 88888

When it comes to letters, the choice is yours. “Find one that speaks to you and fulfill wishes as you see fit,” the site reads. “Letters come from hopeful children and families. Answer one (or many) to make a difference. No matter how big the wish, do what’s doable for you.”

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