USPS Operation Santa ® sad letters to Santa now up for adoption online – Volunteer for Christmas!

This little girl received gifts from USPS Operation Santa volunteers one Christmas Eve, with her sisters looking on. Smiles all around!

USPS Operation Santa ® sad letters to Santa now up for adoption online – Volunteer for Christmas!
Be An Elf is a tax-exempt charity that supports the USPS Operation Santa program by providing an excellent guide for volunteers sending gifts and for needy families who are seeking them. 

Los Angeles – December 4, 2020 – Starting today, USPS Operation Santa ® has again put letters to Santa from underprivileged children up for adoption. They’re all online this year, so Christmas volunteers may now adopt the saddest letters right from home and mail their gifts directly to the child. Many of the letters ask Santa only for “a warm coat”, “new shoes,” and a favorite toy. Some are written by struggling moms whose kids are still too young to write.

Some people feel alone and sad over Christmas, and find comfort and inspiration volunteering for this program. They catch the true spirit of the holidays knowing they will put smiles on little faces on Christmas. Kids should know that the same day the elves at the USPS review their letters, they always send every letter on to Santa — so they’ll get his gifts, too. provides an excellent guide to USPS Operation Santa ® for volunteers who want to send gifts. The site also offers tips to struggling families to write a letter to Santa that will be seen online by Christmas volunteers. The USPS website where letters may now be adopted is

Woman crying in driveway
This single Mom cried in her driveway when gifts arrived unexpectedly on Christmas eve from volunteers. She said she had no money to buy her children gifts for Christmas. 

Those who don’t have time to shop and mail gifts may make a tax-deductible donation to Be An Elf online, stay home and they will adopt letters from needy kids and mail the gift. The all-volunteer charity uses contributions to select letters from the USPS ® website, and as donations come in, the group answers more letters.

They select those asking for basic needs, with a goal of sending each family a Target gift card for $100. Be An Elf encloses a note saying simply, “This is for your kids. Love, Santa”. They trust that the moms know best what their children want and need most.

While not affiliated with the USPS ®, Be An Elf is a tax-exempt 501c3 charity that has recruited thousands of volunteers for the Postal Service’s program since 2004. Founder Patrick Reynolds received the Lifetime Achievement award in 2015 from President Obama for his work fighting tobacco.

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

olunteers for USPS Operation Santa read letters at the Los Angeles post office.

Sample tips from Be An Elf
  • 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.


These volunteers were smiling and moved as they read letters to Santa. 

Patrick Reynolds, Chief Elf,, holds letters to Santa adopted by
Donations make it possible for BeAnElf to adopt more letters. Patrick Reynolds, Chief Elf at, holds letters to Santa adopted by the charity. gives needy kids a brighter Christmas!

“Some Operation Santa volunteers feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort and inspiration volunteering for this program. It’s micro-philanthropy, direct from a volunteer to a child. People catch the true spirit of the holidays knowing they’ll put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas,” says’s Patrick Reynolds.

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.