Writing to Santa?

MESSAGE TO KIDS

Our message to adults follow below. First, here’s our message to kids:

If you have enough food, decent shoes and clothes, parents who have jobs and a nice home, mail your letter to Santa Claus, North Pole, and he will get it. No problem!

If you do not have these things, you’ll be glad to know that Santa has volunteers in many cities who want to help by sending an extra gift or two to kids whose parents don’t have much. 

If that’s you, mail your letter to Santa at the address below. It will be opened and read by his volunteers, and on the very same day they receive it they will forward your letter directly on to Santa. They want him to bring you his gifts, too. 

 

There is no email address for Santa; you need to mail him a letter. He likes typed or handwritten letters, it doesn’t matter. He’s old fashioned, and likes to get them in the mail!

Write to Santa at this address, provided by the USPS:

Santa
123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888

Remember to write your full name and address in the upper left corner of the envelope, and add a first-class stamp in the upper right corner, or your letter will not get to Santa.

Some kids truthfully let Santa and volunteers who may read your letter know that their parents probably won’t be able to get them many gifts this year. Those are the kids whose letters volunteers are likely to adopt. They get more excited about a letter asking for new shoes, a warm coat, new clothes, school supplies, or a new backpack. If your parents are sick or struggling with money or work this year, talk about that in your letter, too.

Volunteers are much less likely to answer a letter with a long list of expensive toys, like an X-Box, Playstation or a new laptop — but of course, you can include your wish list for Santa. In your letter, you might say, “Here is what I really, really need,” and list your needs. Then say, “Here are the gifts I dream about, ” and list those.

Most volunteers are ordinary people who are unable to provide expensive gifts like laptops or X boxes. Still, there are no bad wishes. We’re just respectfully pointing out that some letters move volunteers more than others — and there will be many, many letters online for them to chose from.

If you’re very young, it’s okay to ask for help from an older brother or sister to help you write your letter, but let Santa know in your letter you asked for their help. 

Tell the truth, always, because Santa knows three or four year olds can’t write letters. He always knows who’s naughty and who’s nice!

And we know you’re a good person, and would not want to stop another child whose parents really don’t have much from getting an extra gift or two from one of Santa’s volunteers.

Then mail your letter to Santa by December 14 — sooner is best. Christmas is just around the corner!

Again, don’t email this website. Santa will not see your letter here, because Be An Elf is only allowed to adopt letters from the USPS website. He’s old fashioned and only likes mailed letters, either typed or handwritten. If you email us with your requests, Santa will not see it; he does not use email. You need to mail your letter to him.

ONLY GROWNUPS SHOULD READ WHAT FOLLOWS – NOT FOR KIDS!

Be An Elf is only permitted to adopt letters that have been posted online at the USPS Operation Santa website. Our bylaws do not permit us to send gifts to anyone who contacts us directly.

If you’re an adult volunteer who wants to help Santa, go to www.USPSoperationsanta.com and click on Sign in at the top right. On the next page, scroll to the bottom and under Create An Account, click on GET STARTED. You’ll need your cell phone handy, because the site will text you for a short verification process. Once you have an account, you may adopt letters online at that site. If you don’t see letters that move you, come back in a day or two, as the postal service is posting letters every day.

You can also make a donation by clicking Donate at the top. The more contributions we get at BeAnElf.org, the more letters we are able to adopt. Gifts to our 501c3 non-profit charity are tax-deductible. Please click on Donate and Be An Elf!

When you mail your letter to the address above, USPS staff will read it and consider posting it at www.USPSoperationsanta.com. If it gets posted, volunteers will then be able to adopt it.

Whether or not your letter is selected for the USPS website, post office staff always send every letter on to Santa. That way he can send his gifts to the children, too, in addition to the gifts from the wonderful volunteers who adopt letters.

You may mail your letter to Santa starting in mid-November, but you must mail it no later than December 14th. Volunteers must mail their gifts by December 20. New York and Chicago may accept letters a bit longer; see our Locations page for their addresses. Thanksgiving weekend is a great time for families to sit down and write to Santa as a family, but before then is great too.

TELL THE TRUTH ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES, AND ASK FOR BASIC NEEDS FIRST

There are many thousands of letters to Santa, far too many for volunteers to answer, so most go unanswered. We feel this is so important, we will repeat the following section of our message to kids:

Many kids truthfully let Santa and the volunteers who may read their letters along the way know that their parents probably won’t be able to get them many gifts this year. Those are the kids whose letters volunteers are likely to adopt.

Volunteers get more excited about a letter asking for new shoes, a warm coat, new clothes, school supplies, or a new backpack, and if a parent is sick or struggling with money or employment, talk about that in your letter, too.

On the other hand, volunteers are much less likely to answer a letter with a long list of expensive toys, asking for X-Box, Playstation or new laptop — but of course, kids can include their wish list for Santa. In their letter, they might say, “Here is what I really, really need,” and list those basic needs. Then say, “Here are the gifts I dream about, ” and list those.

Most volunteers are ordinary people who are unable to provide expensive gifts like laptops or X boxes. Still, there are no bad wishes. We’re just respectfully pointing out that some letters move volunteers more than others — and there will be many, many letters online for them to chose from.

If a child is very young, it’s okay to ask for help from an older brother or sister to help you write their letter, but they should let Santa know in their letter that they got help, or that a parent is helping them write the letter. “My Mom is writing this for me, because I’m too little to write…”

Tell the truth, always, because Santa knows who’s naughty and who’s nice. To be sure, he knows three or four year olds can’t write letters, and so do the volunteers. Be as truthful and open as possible with them and with Santa. There’s no shame in writing. It’s 100% anonymous, and it’s for your kids.

We’ll add that we have faith that most people are good, and would not want to stop a child whose parents really don’t have much from getting an extra gift or two from one of Santa’s volunteers.

Letters to Santa may be mailed starting in mid-November, and must be mailed by December 14.  Earlier  is better.

Again, don’t email this website. Santa will not see your letter here, because Be An Elf is only permitted to adopt letters from the USPS website like everyone else. 

As we said to the kids above, volunteers tend to be more moved by letters from children than letters from parents, so if you are writing Santa as a parent, it’s good to explain in your letter that your kids are still too little to write. The truth has a way of shining through.

To be sure, parents who also include a description of their living conditions at home, and a brief picture of your present financial or employment circumstances, will often move a volunteer to send gifts to your kids.

PUT THE WHOLE FAMILY’S LETTERS IN A SINGLE ENVELOPE, SO A VOLUNTEER CAN ADOPT YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, TOO — AND SO ALL YOUR KIDS GET GIFTS, NOT JUST ONE

We strongly recommend putting your kids’ letters in the same envelope as yours, so volunteers will get a full picture of your family (see below). The USPS will post their letters as a group, which is better because some volunteers work in teams, and can send more gifts.

But even lone volunteers will send every kid in the family a gift if they adopt a family. They know it would be difficult for one child to be the only one in the family getting gifts. So we suggest that you write to Santa as a family, and enclose everyone’s letters in a single envelope.

If you are writing as a parent, be sure to give Santa your children’s ages, and shoe and clothing sizes in your letter, and enclose their letters, too.

The number of Santa letters Be An Elf adopts online increases directly in relation to the number of donations we receive. Again, we ONLY answer letters we adopt from the USPS website.

When we get more donations, we adopt more letters. We are all-volunteer. Our mission also includes letting the public know about the USPS program, inspiring new and old volunteers to participate, so kids get more gifts. We know volunteering to adopt letters along their way to Santa at the North Pole will fill volunteers with the true spirit of Christmas.

DO NOT SEND MULTIPLE PHOTOCOPIES OF SANTA LETTERS, IT WILL BACKFIRE!

Do not send photocopies of the same Santa letter, as that looks like the family is spamming Santa! Volunteers and USPS staff quickly spot copied letters, and Santa does not like it either! Just tell a few details about your situation, send one letter per child or parent, and all will be well. And remember that there are many more letters than there are volunteer elves to answer them.

MAY I WRITE ASKING ABOUT MY CHILD’S SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS?

Of course you may ask Santa for help with your child’s special medical needs, but we have an idea about that. One year a volunteer adopted a heartfelt letter from a parent about a child’s medical problem, and the volunteer, who was not wealthy, passed it along to several specialist doctors, asking if they would treat the child for “pro bono” (for free). One doctor actually responded and treated the child at no cost.

But here’s our idea: after you write to Santa, make some color copies of the letter and send them directly to doctors, and ask them to help your child “pro bono.” Mail a copy directly to every specialist in your area, and follow up every few weeks.

If you are a volunteer wishing to support our group with a donation, your gift to Be An Elf will further our mission of creating public awareness of the USPS program and recruiting new volunteers elves for it. They will in turn send more gifts to needy kids in time for Christmas. And the more donations we get, the more letters Be An Elf can adopt every year!

Your donation is tax-deductible and you may donate online or give by check (our address is below.) The more donations we recieve every season, the more letters we adopt every year. Be An Elf sends each family a Target gift card, and we let the Moms do the shopping and gift wrapping. We always enclose a note saying, “For what your kids need most. Love, Santa.” 

If you prefer donate by check, mail your check to Be An Elf, 8117 West Manchester Ave Suite 500, Playa del Rey CA 90293

Many thanks for your generous contribution!

Especially if you live in one of the cities on the list below, print out some flyers from that page, and put them up in places where families in need are likely to see them. You might want to handwrite this added message on flyers: Take a photo of this, and share it in social media! That way the flyer will be more likely to remain on the bulletin board.

If you’re an adult seeking assistance for the holidays for your kids, especially read the tips in bold below.

As we told the kids, all letters to Santa must be addressed to:

Santa
123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888

Letters may be mailed from anywhere in the US. You do not need to mail your letter from one of the cities on the list below. Write your full name and address clearly in the upper left corner of the envelope, and add a first-class stamp in the upper right corner, or your letter will not get posted on USPSoperationsanta.com.

We’ve put our most important tips in bold. Following them will make it more likely Santa’s volunteers will respond to your letter. See our tips in bold below!

For some great letter writing templates, see www.USPSoperationsanta.com/getinvolved/. (You might have to create an account to access that page.) On that page, click on How to Write a Letter and the great Letter Writing Kit. Links to both are on that page.

LETTERS ASKING SANTA FOR HELP WITH CHRISTMAS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE ABOVE ADDRESS. THEY MAY BE MAILED FROM ANYWHERE IN THE US AND WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR POSTING ONLINE AT THE USPS WEBSITE. FAMILY NAMES AND ADDRESSES WILL BE REMOVED BY USPS STAFF. AFTER SCANNING, ALL LETTERS WILL BE MAILED ON TO SANTA. 

LETTERS MAILED TO THE ADDRESS ABOVE IN 2019 WILL BE REVIEWED BY USPS STAFF IN THE FOLLOWING CITIES. LETTERS MAY BE MAILED FROM ANYWHERE IN THE US; THEY ONLY NEED TO BE SENT TO THE ADDRESS ABOVE.

• Austin
• Baltimore
• Boston
• Chicago
• Cleveland
• Denver
• Grand Rapids, Michigan
• Hatteras Island, North Carolina
• Los Angeles
• New York City
• Okracoke Island, North Carolina
• Orlando
• Philadelphia
• Phoenix
• Sacramento
• San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Washington D.C.

Again, Be An Elf does not send gifts directly to families who email us. Our bylaws only permit us to adopt letters from the USPS website.

As we mentioned in the message to kids at the top, some kids write in their letters that their parents won’t be able to get them many gifts this year. Some are struggling financially and others say a parent lost their job. Those are the kids and parents whose letters volunteers are likely to adopt. They are not at all likely to answer a letter with only a list of expensive toys, like X-Boxes or a new laptop.

Volunteers get more excited about a child who asks for new shoes or a warm coat, school supplies, or even new backpack for school, alongside the toys they want — but kids can also include a special wish list for Santa at the end of their letters.

If you are sick or struggling with money this year, also mention that in your letter. And if you are writing yourself as a parent because your kids are too little to write, explain that in your letter, and it will be better received. Honesty always shines through. True, volunteers are partial to letters from kids, but if the children are too little to write to Santa, it really helps to let them know that.

Mail your letter ASAP, because there is no time to waste. But even letters mailed in the first half of December get posted and adopted, and will also reach Santa in time. Only if you live in New York or Chicago, we’re pretty sure you can mail letters in a bit later than that.

Again, don’t email this website, Santa will not get your letter here. He’s old fashioned, and only likes mailed letters, either typed or handwritten. If you email us with your requests, Santa will not see it. You need to mail a letter to him.

In proportion to the number of donations we get from the public, Be An Elf adopts letters, but like all the volunteers, we ONLY adopt letters posted online by the USPS. So please don’t email us asking for gifts. Like the hundreds of volunteers across the nation, we only adopt letters posted at USPSoperationsanta.com. Our bylaws do not permit us to adopt requests sent directly to us.

If you’re a volunteer with kids, let your children know that you and other volunteers are just helping Santa out by sending a few extra gifts, since their parents or caregivers can’t buy much for them this year. Assure them that Santa will still get the letters the children write him, so they’ll get gifts from Santa, too. Volunteers always mail every letter on to Santa!

TIPS FOR WRITING A LETTER TO SANTA

WHEN SHOULD WE MAIL MY CHILD’S LETTER TO SANTA?

It’s best to write Santa anytime from mid-November through the first two weeks of December, but if you live in NYC or Chicago, they may be accepting letters to Santa until right before Christmas. The sooner you mail, the more likely your letter will be adopted by a volunteer.

WHAT’S SANTA’S STREET ADDRESS?

Children and parents may write Santa at this address, provided by the USPS:

Santa
123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888

Remember to write your full name and address in the upper left corner of the envelope, and add a first-class stamp in the upper right corner, or your letter will not get to Santa.

IS THERE AN EMAIL ADDRESS FOR SANTA?

There is no email we know of to write to Santa for gifts. He only gets mailed letters! Most will doubtless be handwritten, and some will be from moms or typed, but handwritten letters from kids are still the most engaging. It’s an old holiday tradition!

CAN I WRITE TO SANTA ABOUT MY CHILD’S SPECIAL MEDICAL NEEDS?

You can ask Santa for help with your child’s special medical needs. One year, a volunteer adopted a heartfelt letter from a parent about a child’s medical problem, and the volunteer, who was not wealthy, passed it along to several specialist doctors. One of the doctors responded, was moved and took care of the child’s medical needs “pro bono” (for free).

After you write to Santa, it will help to send a color copy of the letter directly to some doctors, and ask them to help your child “pro bono”. Mail a color photocopy directly to every specialist in your area!

 


 

Mail your letter to Santa by December 14 to the address above.

If your family does not truly need help, please just address your letter to Santa, North Pole, and he will get it. Please consider a tax-deductible gift to Be An Elf, too. It will help us adopt more letters, and support our mission of creating public awareness of the USPS program, and recruiting new volunteers elves for it, through our strong presence on the Internet.

New volunteers will in turn send more gifts to needy kids in time for Christmas. The more donations we get, the more letters Be An Elf adopts every year.

So please donate online or give by check. If you prefer to give by check, you’ll find our address on that page or below.

Be An Elf send each family’s letter we adopt a Target gift card, and we let the Moms do the shopping and gift wrapping. We always enclose a note saying to parents or primary caregivers, “For what your kids need most. Love, Santa.” But we only adopt letters at the USPS website.

Many thanks for your generous contribution!

The Volunteers at Be An Elf

Be An Elf
8117 West Manchester Ave Suite 500
Playa del Rey CA 90293



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