December Snapshot: Operation Santa Claus
Every year thousands of “Dear Santa” letters flood American post offices, and every year thousands of children and adults alike go without gifts and fulfilled wishes. Operation Santa Claus is an nonprofit organization that allows people who have been given much to read letters written to Santa and respond through giving.
How It Works
Go into the closest participating post office, read through a few letters, and select one or more you want to answer. After you’ve purchased the gifts, bring them along with the letter and money for postage back to the same office. Postal workers will make sure the presents are delivered, while protecting the information of the individual or family receiving the gifts.
- All Dear Santa letters must be picked up from a participating post office in person.
- Individuals wishing to participate do not need an appointment, but can simply walk, provide valid identification, and select a letter.
- Companies and organizations must schedule an appointment before picking up letters. They must also present both a letter of introduction for their company/org and valid identification
- All “Dear Santa” helpers must agree with the USPS Privacy Act statement listed on the Form 6012-1 (Operation Santa Letter Adoption Individual) and PS Form 6012 (Operation Santa Letter Adoption Third Party).
Additional Ways to Help
Many of you may not live near one of the participating post offices, but there are still ways you can support this effort.
- Start a Operation Santa Claus branch at your local post office. Garner the support of local companies and organizations, and inquire of your local postal workers to see if they will work with you in this effort.
- Donate to Operation Santa Claus and link to their website, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Give to children and families in other ways. Donate toys, clothes, shoes, or other necessities at local drop offs.
Santa Claus has long been an icon of childhood dreams and desires fulfilled. Yet many children only see Santa as someone who seems to overlook or forget their home or neighborhood. What better way to instill love and cheer in the hearts of these children than answering their letters to Santa and helping them believe in something bigger than themselves?
USA TODAY article on Operation Santa Claus here.