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USPS Operation Santa


Be An Elf offers support for families in real need, and to volunteers who wish to adopt their sad letters to Santa.


LOS ANGELES, Nov. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The USPS has just begun reading letters to Santa, looking for letters from families who need assistance with Christmas this year. Some ask Santa for "new shoes" or "a warm coat," sending a signal that this is a family in need. Postal elves upload the letters to and anyone wishing to volunteer at Christmas may adopt the sad letters from home, starting November 29th. Later volunteer elves can mail their gifts directly to the child or family who wrote to Santa.

Be An Elf's page gives parents seeking help with Christmas an excellent guide for writing to Santa, providing useful do's and don'ts, and using language that even children may read: "Santa has volunteers across the US who want to send extra gifts to families having a hard time with money this year. Volunteers are permitted to read those children's letters to Santa at a special USPS website, and adopt the letter that touches their hearts the most. Postal staff selecting letters for the site always put every letter right back in the mail to Santa. He'll bring his gifts on Christmas Eve to every child, as always." also provides an excellent guide for volunteers who wish to adopt letters and send gifts to children in struggling families.

Some people feel alone and sad over Christmas, and find comfort and inspiration volunteering for this program. They catch the true spirit of the holidays knowing they will put smiles on kids' faces on Christmas. 

Be An Elf is a tax-exempt 501c3 charity, not affiliated with the USPS Operation Santa ®, but the org has recruited thousands of volunteers for the Postal Service's program. This year for the first time the group also supports Operation Santa by offering a guide to needy families seeking help with Christmas, in addition to its tips for effective volunteering.

To protect the privacy of children, the USPS redacts children's family names and home addresses. Letters must be postmarked by December 10 to be considered for the Operation Santa program. The US Postal Service ® has not missed a year since first offering the children's letters in 1912.