USPS Operation Santa putting needy kids' sad letters to Santa online for "adoption" by volunteers at Christmas

Share Article

Parents worried their children won't have gifts at Christmas will find tips for writing effective letters at BeAnElf.org, a Christmas charity which also offers holiday volunteers an excellent guide to the new online USPS Operation Santa program.

USPS Operation Santa Christmas volunteers mail gifts delivered directly to children.

This little girl wrote to Santa and her gifts were delivered directly to her!

"Some Operation Santa volunteers feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort and inspiration volunteering for this program. People catch the true spirit of the holidays and put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning," says Be A Elf's Chief Elf, Patrick Reynolds.

The U.S. Postal Service launched a new website this week that makes letters to Santa from needy kids available to members of the public to adopt.

Many of their letters ask Santa only for "a warm coat", "new shoes," and a favorite toy, according to a nonprofit that supports the effort.

In recent years the program has been available in under two dozen cities, but this year, the letters may be adopted in every U.S. city, thanks to a new USPS website, USPSoperationsanta.com.

Volunteers may also read letters in person at one branch in Chicago, and another in New York City. To protect children's privacy, USPS staff redact last names and addresses from every letter. Gifts must be mailed by Dec. 20th, in time for delivery by Christmas.

The U.S. Postal Service has made the children's letters available every December since 1912. It has been supported by Be An Elf, a tax-exempt charity founded by a volunteer, Elf Patrick. The site supports USPS Operation Santa by recruiting hundreds of new volunteers every year, encouraging media to cover the story, and by supporting those seeking assistance by offering them letter-writing tips. Be An Elf is not affiliated with the USPS, but its website serves as a guide both to volunteering for the program and for those seeking assistance. The group gets a major in-kind grant from Google in the form of free advertising.

Parents who are worried there won't be enough gifts for their children this year will find great tips at BeAnElf.org/writing-to-Santa. Volunteers who want to learn more should start with the home page at BeAnElf.org

"Some Operation Santa volunteers feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort and inspiration volunteering for this program. People catch the true spirit of the holidays and put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning," says Be A Elf's Patrick Reynolds, who has the title of Chief Elf. He's a grandson of tobacco company founder R.J. Reynolds but became a smoke-free advocate after his father, R.J. Reynolds Jr., died from smoking. Patrick Reynolds received the Lifetime Achievement award in 2015 from President Obama for his work against Big Tobacco.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Patrick Reynolds
BeAnElf.org
+1 (310) 880-1111
Email >
@Howtobeanelf
Follow >
Be An Elf - Christmas gifts for needy kids, supporting Operation Santa
since: 12/2012
Like >
Visit website

Media

Volunteers reading children's letters at the participating Los Angeles post officeVolunteers for USPS Operation Letters to Santa reading letters in Los Angeles.These volunteers were all smiles as they read letters at an Operation Santa post office, and were also moved.BeAnElf.org supports the USPS Letters to Santa Operation Santa programPatrick Reynolds, Chief Elf, BeAnElf.orgPatrick Reynolds holds up letters to Santa adopted by the christmas charity BeAnElf.org in December, 2017BeAnElf.org supports the USPS Letters to Santa Operation Santa programPatrick Reynolds, Chief Elf, BeAnElf.orgPatrick Reynolds reads letters to Santa in Los Angeles at a participating post officePatrick ReynoldsBeAnElf.org's Chief Elf Patrick Reynolds reads a letter to Santa from a child in needPatrick Reynolds, Founder of BeAnElf.orgOne of many letters to Santa adopted through the USPS Operation Santa programThis moving letter was chosen for adoption by an Operation Santa volunteer.This letter touched a volunteer at Christmas, and was adopted.This little girl's letter was answered by Christmas.A child's letter that touched a volunteer for USPS Operation Letters to SantaThis letter touched an Operation Santa volunteer at Christmas, and was adopted.This little girl's letter was answered by Christmas.A child's letter that touched a volunteer for USPS Operation Letters to SantaThis letter touched an Operation Santa volunteer at Christmas, and was adopted.This little girl's letter was answered by Christmas.A child's letter that touched a volunteer for USPS Operation Letters to SantaThis letter touched an Operation Santa volunteer at Christmas, and was adopted.This little girl's letter was answered by Christmas.A child's letter that touched a volunteer for USPS Operation Letters to SantaThis letter touched an Operation Santa volunteer at Christmas, and was adopted.Smiles at Christmas when Operation Santa volunteers' gifts arrived.Smiles from this Mom at the front door, when gifts arrived unexpectedlyThis Mom was happy when gifts were delivered.Tears on Christmas Eve when gifts arrived for this single Mom's childrenThis single mom cried in her driveway when gifts arrived unexpectedly on Christmas eve, from Operation Santa volunteers"I had no money to buy my children gifts on Christmas," she said. "Thank you! Thank you!"