WASHINGTON, DC — Starting today, the Postal Service is accepting letters for the 109-year-old USPS Operation Santa program. Letters must be postmarked by Dec. 10, and will be uploaded to USPSOperationSanta.com through Dec. 15 for potential adoption.
Every day can be a challenge for some families simply trying to make ends meet.
Holiday expectations put extra pressure on those same families who want to make it a special time, but just can’t. That’s where the USPS Operation Santa program — and generous Postal Service customers — can help make the holidays a joyous and magical time. Since the program began, hundreds of thousands of less-fortunate children and their families have been helped by the kindness of others.
USPS Operation Santa was established by the Postal Service to help those in need during the holidays. Whether you believe in Santa or not, the nondenominational program is intended to help as many deserving families as possible experience a happy holiday season. And that can only happen if there are letters to post on USPSOperationSanta.com.
Participation in USPS Operation Santa is simple. All you have to do is write a letter, put it in an envelope affixed with a First-Class Mail Forever stamp, and make sure you include your full return address — apartment number, directional information (i.e., E Main St, Apt 103) and ZIP Code — and send it to Santa’s official workshop address:
123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888
Letters without full return addresses or names will not be posted for adoption.
What Should I Ask For?
It is entirely up to the letter writer as to what appears on their wish list. But the more specific writers are with sizes, colors, styles, favorite authors, book titles, toys, etc., the better chance their wishes will be granted if their letter is adopted.
When someone writes a letter, it is opened by Santa’s elves, and for safety reasons, all personally identifiable information of the letter writer is removed (i.e., last name, address, ZIP Code) and uploaded to USPSOperationSanta.com for adoption. Letters must be postmarked by Dec. 10 and letters will be uploaded to the website for adoption through Dec. 15.
There is no guarantee that letters submitted to the program will be adopted.
How to Write a Letter
Sending a letter to Santa is easy and the Postal Service has guides and tips to help kids and their parents 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.
You can also use these letter writing tips throughout the year if you want to send thank-you cards, birthday cards or letters to friends and family just to say “Hi.”
Adopting a Letter
Adopter registration, ID verification and letter adoption will open in the next few weeks. Until then, there are a few things to know for those who plan to adopt a letter.
Potential adopters, once approved, can visit USPSOperationSanta.com, read through the posted letters, pick one or more that they’d like to fulfill, and follow the directions on how to grant that special wish for a child. For security reasons, all potential adopters must be vetted through a short registration and ID verification process before they can adopt any letter. If you’ve adopted letters in the past, you must still be verified each year.
Businesses also get into the spirit of the season by creating teams to adopt letters — all the better to help grant those special wishes to deserving families and kids.
USPS Operation Santa History
USPS Operation Santa started more than 109 years ago when the Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa from kids across the country. It wasn’t until 1912 that Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local Postmasters to allow postal employees and customers to respond to the letters. That simple act of kindness has led to a very successful holiday program benefitting deserving kids and families throughout the United States.
The complete Operation Santa history can be found online at the Postal Service Holiday Newsroom, along with additional news and information, including all 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.