Letters to Santa from low-income kids are now available for adoption online at a new USPS website, launched this week

Los Angeles — November 20, 2019 – Los Angeles – This week the US Postal Service launched a new website making needy kids’ letters to Santa available for adoption online by the public. Many of their letters ask Santa only for “a warm coat”, “new shoes,” and a favorite toy.

In recent years the program has been available in less than two dozen cities, but this year the letters may be adopted online from anywhere, and gifts mailed from 19,000 postal branches, thanks to a new USPS website,

To protect children’s privacy, USPS ® staff redact last names and addresses from their letters. A coded address label is printed out with each letter. Gifts must be mailed by December 20th, in time for delivery by Christmas.

After scanning children’s letters and posting them at the site, naturally, USPS elves send every letter on to Santa at the North Pole.

Be An Elf is a tax-exempt charity founded by a volunteer, Elf Patrick. The site supports USPS Operation Santa ® by recruiting hundreds of new volunteers every year, encouraging media to cover the story, and by providing those seeking assistance with tips for more effective letter writing. Be An Elf is not affiliated with the USPS® but supports the program by offering an excellent guide to it — both to new volunteers and to those seeking assistance. The group gets a major in-kind grant from Google in the form of free advertising.

Parents who are worried there won’t be enough gifts for their children this year will find great tips at

New volunteers who want to learn how to send gifts to kids should visit the home page of and just click on How to be an Elf.

“Some Operation Santa volunteers feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort and inspiration volunteering for this program. They catch the true spirit of the holidays and put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning,” says Be An Elf’s Patrick Reynolds.

Reynolds appears in CNBC interview on Be An Elf home page. He’s a grandson of tobacco company founder RJ Reynolds, but became a smoke-free advocate after his father, RJ Reynolds, Jr., died from smoking. Patrick received the Lifetime Achievement award in 2015 from President Obama for his work against Big Tobacco; his bio is at

Journalists can support those interested in volunteering and help parents and kids write more effective letters by briefly mentioning at the end of coverage of the wonderful USPS program. The site is an invaluable resource for first-time volunteers and helps parents and kids write more effective letters to Santa. 

Be An Elf is a tax-exempt 501c3 charity founded by volunteer Patrick Reynolds in 2004 to create public awareness of the USPS Operation Santa ® program. While not affiliated with the USPS ® program, Be An Elf supports Operation Santa ® by recruiting and preparing hundreds of new volunteers for it every year.

Sample tips:

  • suggests smart gifts, like backpacks, school supplies, new (not used) clothes, books, and a small gift for the mothers, whom the site says are sometimes feeling sad over the holidays.
  • Pay attention to the letters from parents, whose children may be too little to write. They often list their children’s clothing and shoe sizes, and that’s a sign they truly need help for the holidays.
  • Give a holiday party at which friends and neighbors are invited to bring gifts for kids, and share the gift wrapping, the cost and the fun.
  • It’s possible to adopt multiple letters and simply mail gift cards from Target or Costco, and let the Moms do the shopping for their families.
  • Companies may typically adopt up to 100 letters to Santa, and Be An Elf has just published a new Plan for Companies for employees who are interested in volunteering.

The US Postal Service ® has not missed a year since first offering the children’s letters in 1912. Learn more at



Patrick Reynolds
Be An Elf
(310) 880-1111 Cell (For journalists only)


Some 2019 news coverage:

ABC World News / Good Morning America

Los Angeles KNBC TV 4, November 18, 2019:

Yahoo Finance, November 27, 2019

KNX1070 NewsRadio, November 18, 2019


Source: 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.