Answer a letter to Santa
written by a child who needs
a brighter Christmas

You can read real letters to Santa from needy kids, take home one or more that move you, and then send your gift directly to them. 

There’s no middle man or charity; it’s micro-philanthropy, direct from you to a child, when you volunteer in this way. 

You’ll catch the true spirit of the holidays, and put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning.


Every year Be An Elf recruits volunteers around the US to adopt letters to Santa from low-income children.

Our all-volunteer group also reads and selects letters for adoption. Funded by the donations we receive every year, we send Christmas gifts directly to the neediest children and families.

Santa letters may be obtained only through the USPS Operation Santa ®. We are not affiliated with the USPS® or its wonderful program, but every year we support their Operation Santa ®  by recruiting new volunteers for it, who adopt letters sent by the neediest children; by creating public awareness of the program; by letting people know where they can adopt children’s letters; by offering excellent tips for volunteering; and by adopting letters to Santa ourselves. 

The venerable USPS ® makes the Santa letters available to the public every year starting the first week of December, and the program ends just before Christmas. Come alone or bring your kids!



Be An Elf’s website is a great resource to learn how and where to volunteer for the USPS ® program. At our How to be an Elf page, near the top you’ll find a link to the most current National Directory of USPS Operation Santa ® postal branches.  In 2014, only 20 postal branches nationwide offered the program, mostly in large cities. If there are no participating branches near you, our site also offers excellent Other Ways to Be An Elf.


We provide some great tips for adopting Santa letters — for example, we suggest you host a small Christmas gathering and share the work, the cost and the fun. Ask each friend you invite to bring a gift, and then wrap them all at the party. 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 buying gifts for children.


So this December, go get your letters and tell your friends. Post this site on Facebook or tweet it, using the icons above. We also hope news orgs will add this site to their websites, or better still, have anchors mention this page at the end of their coverage of the wonderful USPS Operation Santa ® program. If they do, the public will be able to easily locate the postal branches participating in this year letters to Santa program.


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.


If you can’t volunteer to adopt a letter to Santa and send gifts, please donate online to Be An Elf or give by check to support our group’s gift giving and mission. 


Your gift will be used to send gifts to needy families, help us create public awareness of the program, and recruit new volunteers for the Operation Santa ® program. Together we can bring joy to more children in need on Christmas morning.


Please post our site on your Facebook page or tweet it, and donate online or volunteer to Be an Elf!




PRESS ROOM: Members of the press who want high resolution photos or video will find them on our press resources page.


Be An Elf is a private, tax-exempt organization and, while we support it, we are not affiliated in any way with the United States Postal Service® or Operation Santa ®

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