Answer a sad 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 send your gifts directly to the children who wrote the letters.

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 a smile on the face of a child on Christmas morning.

Every year, Be An Elf recruits new volunteers who adopt letters to Santa from low-income children. They read and select letters to Santa at a participating post office, and send their gifts directly to the neediest ones.

Children’s letters may be obtained only through the USPS Operation Letters to Santa ® program. We are not affiliated with the USPS ®, but every year our charity supports its wonderful program in several important ways.

Thanks to donations from people like you, Be An Elf builds stronger public awareness of Operation Santa and recruits many new volunteers. We adopt letters to Santa ourselves; on our How to be an Elf page, we post a national list of postal branches where children’s letters are available and provide tips for volunteering. If the program is not offered near you, we offer alternative ways to volunteer at Christmas.

Some of our 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!

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 2016, only 15 postal branches nationwide are offering the program, mostly in very large cities. If there is no participating branch near you, this site offers excellent Other Ways to Be An Elf.

We also provide great tips for adopting Santa letters. We suggest you host a small Christmas gathering and share the work, the cost and the fun. Ask each friend 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 go get your sad Santa letters and tell your friends. Post this site on Facebook or tweet it using the icons at the top, or see our sample Great tweets and posts.

When reporters mention this page at the end of coverage of the USPS Operation Santa ® program, the public can more easily locate a participating branch.

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, 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!

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Be An Elf is a tax-exempt Christmas children's charity, and while we support it, we are not affiliated with the United States Postal Service® or Operation Santa ® Our mission is to increase public awareness of the program, recruit volunteers, and make needy children smile on Christmas. ©2016 Be An Elf - All rights reserved.