WASHINGTON — The season of giving is here, and the Postal Service is putting out the call for kind-hearted, generous people across the country to sign up to adopt letters to Santa.
Beginning today, those interested in adopting letters can go to USPSOperationSanta.com, create an account and have their identities verified to help fulfill the holiday wishes of children and families who have written to Santa.
USPS Operation Santa relies solely on random acts of kindness and the generosity of strangers. For 110 years, the program has provided some extra magic to those in need during the holiday season.
Registration is only for those wishing to adopt letters. Letter writers do not need to register. Potential adopters must go to USPSOperationSanta.com, click on the registration link and follow the prompts. For security reasons, all prospective adopters must register to create an account and have their identities verified before they can participate. Even if someone adopted letters in the past, they must create a new account each year.
If a potential adopter is unable to have their identity verified online, they will be directed to get verified in person. The Postal Service will send the adopter a barcode and the location of the nearest Post Office location that can provide in-person ID verification. Once approved, the adopter will receive a welcome email with detailed information on how to participate in the program.
Beginning Nov. 28, verified adopters can visit USPSOperationSanta.com, read through the posted letters and choose one or more to fulfill. Once the letters are chosen, the adopters must follow the directions included in their welcome email to fulfill the holiday wishes.
Businesses and other organizations can also get into the spirit of the season by creating teams to adopt letters. Everyone participating on a team must also complete the verification process.
Letter adopters are responsible for all postage costs to ship the gift packages.
Hundreds of thousands of letters are written to Santa every year. These letters are opened by Santa’s elves and, for safety reasons, all personally identifiable information in the letter (such as last names, school names, addresses, ZIP Codes) is removed before the letters are uploaded to USPSOperationSanta.com for adoption.
Letters will be available for adoption from Nov. 28 through Dec. 19.
Santa’s helpers are available to answer questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accept No Imitations
There is only one USPS Operation Santa program, sanctioned by the Postal Service. Fulfilling wishes through the official program is voluntary and any organization asking you to give them money to adopt letters is in violation of the laws under which the Postal Service operates and is not condoned by, or affiliated with, the U.S. Postal Service.
USPS Operation Santa History
The Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa more than a century ago. In 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow employees and customers to respond to them. This act of kindness became what is now known as USPS Operation Santa.
The complete program history can be found online at the USPS Holiday Newsroom, along with additional news and information, including all domestic, international, and military mailing and shipping deadlines.
The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.