Other Ways To Be An Elf


See our FAQs page to learn what you can do start one. 



If there is no Post Office offering Operation Santa in your city, the good news is there are several other cool ways to be an elf.

You may Donate Online to Be An Elf to further our mission and gift giving, or Give by Check. Or, try one of these excellent alternative ways to be of service:


  • Call a local orphanage in your city and ask for the Director. Orphans need toys at Christmas, too!
  • Do a Google Search for the following phrase, and add your city name at the end. For example, search for: Department of Children and Family Services Topeka. Call them and see if there is a way for you to help make Christmas brighter for children living in foster care or in youth detention homes.
  • Anonymously pay off a layaway account at K-Mart or Wal Mart. “At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers’ layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn’t afford, especially toys and children’s clothes set aside by impoverished parents,” notes an Associated Press story of December 15, 2011.
  • Many elderly people ache with loneliness and sadness during the holidays. About 4 million US seniors live in poverty, and many live as frail or homebound shut-ins. An org in Philadelphia, Aid for Friends has mobilized about 250 area churches and 16,000 Inter-faith volunteers to assist elderly people in need. However, few other cities have senior-serving networks which are comparable in scope. You can change this. Make December a special month for remembering the aged, who are disabled or impoverished. Visit and found a similar group to organize churches and volunteers in your city. Map out local elder care centers and retirement homes. Volunteer to visit, to drive them, prepare meals, perform handyman duties. Donate bathtub grab-bars or toiletries, or make a donation. Ask children to craft greeting cards, assemble food kits, or make supervised home or hospital visits. Organize churches of all denominations in your community to come together and start an organization like Aid For Friends in your city.(Based on “Rethink Christmas”, by John J. Dilulio and John M. Bridgeland, TIME, September 22, 2008).
  • Some local churches have programs to drop off presents at inner-city elementary schools.
  • The Salvation Army needs volunteers at sites where they take care of addicts of the homeless.
  • An organization that hand delivers gifts to children in the name of an incarcerated parent is the Prison Fellowship Ministries’ Angel Tree program. This group is supported by a national church network.
  • Tell your friends about our group. Feel free to use our suggested draft of a short message to tell friends about us.
  • If you can’t go to the post office yourself, please Donate Online to Be An Elf. You may also Give by Check.
  • Check with a local homeless shelter. Homeless people need things too; ask for the Director when you call them.

We wish you a holiday season filled with love, and sincerely hope the year ahead will be bright and happy for you and your family.

We honor your holiday spirit and thank you for caring.

Elf Patrick

Elf in Chief

P.S. If you can’t go to the post office yourself, please Donate Online to Be An Elf. You may also Give by Check.

Help us bring smiles to needy kids on Christmas morning.

Only volunteers sending gifts should contact us. Santa will not see your message here! If you're seeking gifts, contact Santa's Christmas volunteers through our Writing to Santa page. If you want to give gifts, click below.


Separation Decoration

Be An Elf is a tax-exempt 501c3 children's Christmas charity. Contributions are tax-deductible. We are not affiliated with USPS Operation Santa® but we support it by creating public awareness of the program online and in social media, by recruiting and orienting new volunteers to the program, and by offering tips to needy families writing to Santa. Be An Elf also uses donations to adopt letters to Santa and send gifts to the kids who wrote them. We will never share your info with third parties; see Be An Elf's privacy policy. ©2020 Be An Elf - All rights reserved.