In 2019, USPS ® Operation Santa has gone online, with 2 Branches still accepting walk-in volunteers (New York City & Chicago)
ONLINE LETTER ADOPTION IS HERE!
After a successful pilot program last year, the USPS Operation Santa ® program has launched online adoption of letters to Santa at its new website, USPSoperationsanta.com.
Volunteers across the nation will be able to read and adopt letters online, and send their gifts from any of 19,000 postal branches.
Letters to Santa must be mailed by December 14, and they need letters this year! Volunteers have been snapping up every letter for adoption quickly.
Volunteers must mail their gifts by December 20th to be in time for Christmas delivery.
HOW CAN I FIND A POSTAL BRANCH OFFERING THE “LABEL SCANNING” SERVICE, WHERE I CAN MAIL MY GIFTS?
To find a post office that will accept the coded address label you printed out along with the Santa letter you adopted online, follow these steps:
- Go to USPS.com/locator. Fill in your zip code last.
- Under Filtered by, select Post OfficesTM in the drop-down menu.
- Under Services, select Label Broker in the drop-down menu.
- Under Within, select the number of miles you’re willing to travel to find a “Label Broker” post office.
- Fill in your zip code last, and click on Search.
The results will show the postal branches closest to you offering the required “Label broker” service. The hours are the same as the hours they are open.
When you are ready to take your package/s to the post office for mailing, apply the label you printed out.
ADD POSTAGE TO YOUR PACKAGE AT THE SAME TIME YOU DROP IT OFF FOR MAILING (NOT BEFORE)
If you try to buy postage at a branch without the “Label broker” service, you might be refused after waiting in a long line. The reason is, USPS employees are not permitted to place postage on packages without an address.
That’s why it’s best to add postage only when you are ready to mail your package. Find a local branch offering the “Label broker” service (see above). They’ll recognize the shipping label and gladly add postage there.
To protect the privacy of children, children’s family names and addresses are redacted from their letters, and a code is added to each letter. Package drop-off instructions will be printed out during the online letter adoption process at USPSoperationsanta.com.
Online volunteers must mail their gifts by December 20, but New York has extended the dates of its program, and Chicago may do so as well. See the bottom of this page, and check back for an update about Chicago.
IF YOU NEED HELP THIS CHRISTMAS, AND WANT YOUR LETTER CONSIDERED FOR POSTING ONLINE, USE SANTA’S NEW ADDRESS, 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888
All letters mailed to that address will be reviewed for posting on the new USPS Operation Santa website.
At the website, volunteers may filter by State; all states are listed. Every letter gets forwarded on to Santa.
Only letters written by kids and parents who truly need assistance for the holidays, will be selected for posting online. Once they are posted, their letters may be adopted by volunteers all across the US. Once a letter is adopted, it will likely be taken offline.
The cities on the list below are doing the most screening for letters to post online; they read letters mailed anywhere in the US, and then send them on to Santa. There are also post offices in other cities where USPS staff get together informally and answer letters to Santa themselves. Of course, they always forward the letters on to Santa!
• Grand Rapids, Michigan
• Hatteras Island, North Carolina
• Los Angeles
• New York City
• Okracoke Island, North Carolina
• San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Washington D.C.
WHERE ARE THE WALK-IN BRANCHES THIS YEAR?
In 2019, volunteers may read letters in person at one branch in Chicago, and one in New York City.
Both permit the public to walk in and read letters at the branch, and both are also posting letters to Santa online.
• New York City
James A. Farley Post Office
421 8th Ave
New York, NY 10199
The machine may take a few rings to answer, but be patient!
Hours for reading / adoption of letters to Santa:
December 3 – 22, 2019
Monday – Saturday, 9am – 4pm
Thursdays only: 9am – 7pm
Last day for dropoff: December 22
Closed December 23 – 25th
December 26 – January 4th, 2019
9am – 4pm
Final day for dropoff: January 4th
Chicago District Post Office
433 W Harrison St
Chicago IL 60607
Lobby, 2nd Floor Mezzanin
We will update this page shortly with the Chicago branch’s 2019 schedule for reading / adoption / mailing of letters to Santa.
Thank you for being an Elf!
While you are waiting, we recommend that volunteer elves check out our How To Be An Elf page and do some planning. You’ll see tips like giving a holiday Elf party, and sharing the cost, the work with friends and neighbors. Wrapping gifts together over holiday cheer can be fun, and sharing the cost also helps. Indeed, the cost can run up to $100 per letter answered, if you send gifts to the siblings and the mom, too, which we recommend.
Another tip on the How To Be An Elf page: some volunteers answer multiple letters, and simply send families gift cards. They entrust the shopping to the Moms, who know what their kids need most.
Be An Elf uses tax-deductible donation to send a Target gift card to the family of every letter we adopt, with a card marked only, “From Santa.” We like their gift cards best, because at Target, parents are more likely to purchase gifts their kids need, like clothes, school supplies, as well as the gifts they want. Also, Targets are everywhere.
That’s why Be An Elf uses our tax-deductible donations to send Target gift cards to families whose letters we adopt. It also enables us to adopt many more Santa letters than in previous years. We have faith that the Moms know best what their kids need.
Please read our How To Be An Elf page for ideas for volunteering for this USPS tradition during the holidays.
We applaud the Postal Service for posting needy children’s Santa letters online. Starting November 18, 2019, go to USPSoperationsanta.com , and adopt a needy child’s letter to Santa!
Ho, ho, ho, and thanks for volunteering during the holidays this year!