Postal Service will allow public to adopt letters to Santa written by needy kids, starting December 1st
BeAnElf.org is a great resource for volunteers for the wonderful USPS® program
Assign a story on USPS Operation Letters to Santa ® — and please include a mention of BeAnElf.org as an excellent resource for anyone wishing for more information. We are a tax-exempt charity and website which supports the USPS ® program every year.
See our recommendations for reporting on this great Christmas story below.
Los Angeles and 14 major cities — November 30, 2015 — Starting at 11am on December 1st, the Los Angeles USPS Letters to Santa® program will begin offering the public letters written by low income children to Santa. Christmas volunteers may adopt a needy child’s letter, and mail their gifts directly to the child who wrote to him.
Letters from children and families writing Santa often ask only for “a warm coat”, “food or clothes” or “shoes for my older brother.” They are written by kids and families who clearly need a brighter Christmas. Volunteers return to the same post office with their gifts ready for mailing, and send their gifts directly to the child or family.
In December, needy children’s letters will be distributed at a single postal branch in 15 large cities: Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Los Angeles, New York City, Santa Clarita CA and Santa Ana CA. New York will make its letters available starting December 7th. Each postal branch sets its own schedule; please see Be An Elf’s updated list of 2015 Locations, with USPS contacts and phone numbers.
BeAnElf.org is not affiliated with the USPS®, but is a tax-exempt 501c3 charity and website whose mission is to support the program, by increasing public awareness of it, recruiting new volunteers for it, and letting the public know where to find a participating postal branch.
The site also offers tips for volunteering smartly and effectively, suggesting gifts like backpacks, school supplies, new clothes, books, and a small gift for the mothers, who the site notes are often living below the poverty line and feeling sad over the holidays. Moms also write to Santa, listing their children’s clothing and shoe sizes. Some volunteers prefer to simply mail the moms a gift card from Target or another store, so the moms can do their own shopping.
Some volunteers feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort and inspiration volunteering for this program. Others have families and bring their kids, to teach them the meaning of Christmas.
BeAnElf.org’s website offers tips like giving a holiday party at which friends are asked to bring gifts. They wrap them together and share the cost, the work and the fun. It’s a smart and effective way to volunteer. Companies may adopt multiple letters to Santa, and distribute them to interested employees.
Volunteer Elves discover the meaning of the holidays and find real Christmas spirit — and most important, they put smiles on needy children’s faces on Christmas morning.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO REPORTERS COVERING THIS GREAT CHRISTMAS STORY BeAnElf.org encourages you to report on the USPS Operation Letters to Santa program®, and mention BeAnElf.org at the end, as an excellent resource for further information. BeAnElf.org makes it easy for the public to follow up after seeing your story, and easily learn where, when and how they can participate in the wonderful USPS ® program.
We strongly recommend that reporters visit an Operation Santa ® postal branch on opening day, and interview a volunteer from the public as they read children’s letters.
Resources permitting, volunteers may be followed as they shop for gifts, wrap them at home, and later when they return to the post office to mail their gifts.
For a moving ending, photos of actual children and moms receiving gifts on past Christmas Eves are downloadable at the top of Be An Elf’s Press Images page, and on the Photos page. The smiles of the children and moms in these photos say it all.
At the very end of your coverage, please mention BeAnElf.org as an excellent resource for further information.
BeAnElf.org was founded in 2004 by Patrick Reynolds, a volunteer who’s happy to stay on the sidelines.