If you're looking for a wonderful and creative way to lend a hand to a family in need this holiday season, the United States Postal Service's "Operation Santa" program has you covered. Through it, you can help answer letters to Santa written by kids from all around the country and "adopt" their wishlists to help make Christmas a little more magical this year.
For the past 107 years, USPS has been helping make Christmas a little brighter for children across the country with "Operation Santa." This year, though, the program has expanded its reach even further with a new website. Using the fancy new website, "Operation Santa" can link kids in need to generous donors, who can help to fill out their wishlists so they have gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. On Nov. 18, the Operation Santa website began to share letters from children who might need extra help at Christmas and there are already many to choose from and read. "Find one that speaks to you and fulfill wishes as you see fit," USPS states on the website.
Those who want to make a child's Christmas wishes come true can do so by visiting the Operation Santa site to adopt a letter. To get started, though, you'll have to make a verified account through the program with your email address.
You can adopt a letter for an individual or a family in 15 cities across the United States, just make sure to mail your gifts through a participating post office by Dec. 20 to ensure they arrive in time. The full names of children are redacted to protect their privacy, so USPS will act as a middle man between all of these secret Santas and the little ones they want to help.
Of course, it would be impossible for volunteers to adopt letters if parents and caregivers didn't first send them in for their kids. As a single mother of four, there was always a lot of love to go around but not a lot of money. When Christmas came around, it was tough to keep the magic of Santa Claus alive when he might not be able to bring my kids much at all. I needed help, but I didn't know how to ask. This is why programs like Operation Santa are so great; like me, not everyone feels comfortable reaching out for help. This is a simpler, more thoughtful way to help parents without making them feel as though they've done something wrong.
Families in need who would like to participate in Operation Santa can send their kids' letters to Saint Nick to Santa Claus' address in the North Pole:
123 Elf Road
Remember to include your full name and address. And, perhaps most importantly, remember this: there is no shame in asking for help. Especially not from Santa Claus and his thousands of anonymous elves across the country.