Help answer sad letters to Santa written by
children who need a brighter Christmas
You can adopt real letters to Santa written by underprivileged kids, take home one or more that move you, and send your gifts directly to the children who wrote to Santa.
There’s no middle man or charity; it’s micro-philanthropy, direct from you to a child when you volunteer in this way.
If you don’t have time to visit a participating postal branch and adopt a Santa letter yourself, Be An Elf adopted 52 Santa letters this month, but we lack funding for over half of them. When you give online, you’ll help us send gifts to the children who wrote those letters. Almost all ask Santa for new shoes, clothes or other basic necessities.
Your gift will also further our primary mission of creating public awareness of the USPS ® Operation Santa ® program, recruiting volunteers for it, and letting people know where and when they can volunteer.
Whether you adopt a letter or donate online, you’ll catch the true spirit of the holidays, and help put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning. Be an Elf!
Be An Elf is a tax-exempt children’s charity, and while we are not affiliated with the United States Postal Service® or Operation Santa ®, Be An Elf supports the wonderful USPS ® program in several important ways. First, we create public awareness of the Operation Santa ® program, and recruit new volunteers who adopt their own letters to Santa. Volunteer Elves read and select Santa letters at a participating post office, and then send their gifts directly to the children who wrote to him.
You may obtain children’s letters only through postal branches participating in the Operation Santa ® program.
At our How to be an Elf page, near the top you’ll find a link to the most current National Directory of Operation Santa ® postal branches. In 2017, only 15 postal branches nationwide will offer the program, usually in a large city at a single branch. Each branch sets their own days and hours of operation, according to public demand for the letters. If there is no participating branch near you, this site offers excellent Other Ways to Be An Elf.
Some volunteers feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort and inspiration being part of this program. Others have families and bring their older kids to teach them the meaning of Christmas.
The USPS ® makes the Santa letters available to the public every year starting around December 1st, and the program ends a few days before Christmas. Come alone, or bring your older kids, and Be An Elf!
The excellent tips on our How to be an Elf page include hosting a small Christmas gathering, and sharing the work, the cost and the fun with friends and neighbors. Volunteer Elf Lauren in Brooklyn, NY, gave a Be An Elf party and asked her friends to bring a gift or contribute toward the cost, and they wrapped the gifts together. At our How to be an Elf page you’ll find other great tips, too, like our suggestions for gifts to buy for children.
Please share this site on Facebook or tweet it using the icons at the top. If you like, start with one of our sample Great tweets and posts.
Be An Elf’s mission is to make more underprivileged children smile on Christmas morning, and to inspire people with the real spirit of Christmas. The USPS ® started their wonderful program in 1912, and since then they have never missed a year.
Your gift will be used to send gifts to needy families, create public awareness of the program and to recruit new volunteers for the Operation Santa ® program. Together we can bring joy to more children in real need on Christmas morning.
Support our mission! Post on your Facebook page, donate online and volunteer to Be an Elf!