Each year, hundreds of thousands of children write letters to Santa Claus, but did you know that sometimes Santa responds? Operation Santa, a program run by the Postal Service, allows children to mail a letter to a special Santa address. Then volunteers — including postal employees, customers, or teams — can adopt the letter and send a gift to the letter writer.
This program began in 1912, when Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters, postal employees, and customers to respond to the letters from Santa. In the 1940s there were so many letters, the Postal Service invited charitable organizations and organizations to participate. Over the years, the program grew into what it is today.
Between December 4 and 19, volunteers can read through the letters online, pick one or more to adopt, pick a gift the child asked Santa for, and bring the packaged gift to any post office, which then sends it to the child. Don’t worry, letter adopters will at no point be able to access the personal information or postal addresses of children or their parents. Or vice versa. The Postal Service encourages all packages be mailed by December 19 to arrive in time for Christmas but does allow volunteers to mail them later.
Have you or someone you know mailed a letter to Operation Santa…or adopted a letter or letters?