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 will be going to the post office to adopt Santa letters during the first two weeks of December. Last year we raised enough to send gifts to all the children and families whose letters we adopted. When you give online, you’ll help us send gifts to the kids who wrote to Santa. We select the ones asking for new shoes, clothes and other basic necessities, mail the Moms a Target gift card, and let them do the shopping. They know best what their kids need most.

Your gift will also further our primary mission of building public awareness of the USPS ® Operation Santa ® program, recruiting new and former volunteers, and letting the public bknow where and when they can volunteer.

If you have kids, tell them you’re helping Santa out by sending children a few extra gifts because their parents can’t buy much for them this year. Of course Santa still needs the letter they wrote him, so be sure to explain  you’ll mail their letters on to him at the North Pole. So make a photocopy of the letter you adopt, and mail the original one directly to Santa.

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 offered the program, usually in a large city and at a single branch. Each branch manager 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 — or you may help fund the letters we adopt by making a gift online at this site. The more we raise, the more letters we can adopt.

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.

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!

Separation Decoration

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.


Help us bring smiles to needy kids on Christmas morning.

Only volunteers may contact us. Santa will not see your message here! If you're seeking gifts, here is the best place we know where you can write to Santa!



Get info about how you can send gifts directly to a needy child, and a reminder about this program next Christmas.

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