WASHINGTON, DC — Let’s face it, this year has been a struggle for so many people in more ways than one. Thoughts of kids, the holidays and wondering how to provide for them may also be weighing heavily on many. But take heart, Santa and the Postal Service are way ahead of you, and are here to help.
The USPS Operation Santa program celebrates its 108th year in 2020 by opening up for nationwide participation. Now, more than ever, the program is needed to help less fortunate kids and families during the holidays.
The Postal Service established the USPS Operation Santa program to help those in need at the holidays experience the joy of opening presents — and to create special holiday memories. Since it began, millions of less fortunate children and their families have been helped by the kindness of others. The program is for every person of every belief, or non-belief. The purpose is to help as many deserving families as possible. And that can only be done if good-hearted adopters step forward.
To participate in the USPS Operation Santa program as a possible recipient of holiday gifts, all you have to do is write a letter, put it in a stamped envelope with a return address, and send it to Santa’s official workshop address as seen on the example envelope below. Letters will be accepted Nov. 16 – Dec. 15.
Hundreds of thousands of letters are written to the USPS Operation Santa program every year in hopes of being adopted by kind and generous people across the country. These letters are opened by Santa’s Elves and, for safety reasons, all personally identifiable information of the letter writer is removed (i.e. last names, addresses, ZIP Codes) and uploaded to USPSOperationSanta.com for adoption.
Beginning Dec. 4, letters will be available for nationwide adoption by visiting USPSOperationSanta.com — all from the socially distant safety of your own home. Potential adopters can read the letters and pick one, or more, that they’d like to fulfill. For security reasons, potential adopters must be vetted by going through a short registration and ID verification process before they are allowed to adopt any letter.
Companies also help adopt letters. Every year many companies create teams and adopt several letters. All the better to help grant that special wish to deserving families and kids.
How to Write a Letter
Sending a letter to Santa is easy if you know how. The Postal Service is here to help with guides and tips to help kids write and send their best letters ever. All the information you could possibly need to write a letter, address an envelope, put on a stamp and send it on its way can be found on USPSOperationSanta.com and in our Holiday Newsroom. The only thing the Postal Service can’t help with is to tell kids what to ask for. That is up to their imagination, and we would never stifle creativity. These tips are also good all year-round for sending thank-you cards, birthday cards, or letters to Grandma and Grandpa just to say, “Hi.”
USPS Operation Santa History
While the Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa more than 108 years ago, it wasn’t until 1912 that Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local Postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to them. This became known as Operation Santa.
The complete history can be found online at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom, along with additional news and information, including all domestic, international and military mailing and shipping deadlines.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.