MESSAGE TO KIDS
NOTE: Although we have updated our Home page and our Locations page, the information on this page has not been updated. We just got all the new info, and are working hard to update the other pages at this site.
The USPS program is going online November 18, and it has changed dramatically this year, and for the better! If you are reading this, our site should be fully updated by within 24 hours.
Do not read on!
If you have enough food, decent shoes and clothes, parents who have jobs and a nice home, children should simply address their letters to Santa Claus, North Pole, and he will get it. No problem!
But if you do not have these things, Santa has volunteer elves in many cities who have special workshops, and they want to help Santa by sending extra gifts. If that’s you, send your letter to Santa Claus, care of the address of the nearest branch to you, even if it’s out of your State. Find the addresses where the volunteer elves are on our Locations page of Operation Santa postal branches. Do not email your request to Santa to us, because he will not see it.
We at Be An Elf are only a few of the helper elves who assist Santa every year. There may be hundreds or even thousands, we don’t know. But all of them only send gifts to children who handwrite letters to Santa and then mail them to a participating Operation Santa post office. A few are typed, and that’s okay. Santa’s volunteers read letters only while visiting the post office, and that’s why your letter has to be mailed, not emailed. The volunteers make a copy of your letter and send the original on to Santa at the North Pole, so he will get it in time to send his gifts, too!
Some kids write in their letters that their parents probably won’t be able to get them many gifts this year. Those are the kids whose letters helper elves are likely to adopt. We will be honest and tell you that Santa’s helper elves get more excited about a child asking for new shoes or a warm coat, instead of a long list of expensive toys like X-Boxes.
Again, the helper elves don’t keep your letter to Santa! They send the original letter directly on to Santa in care of the North Pole, so that Santa will bring you his gifts, too.
If your parents are struggling with money this year, send your letter ASAP to Santa. Don’t email this website, Santa will not get your letter here. He’s old fashioned, and likes mailed, handwritten letters.
… That’s where you should mail your letter, and where it will be read by one of Santa’s volunteer elves. With luck, if there aren’t too many letters to answer this year, they may select your letter to send gifts to. Either way, the letter you wrote to Santa will definitely be forwarded to him.
ONLY GROWNUPS SHOULD READ WHAT FOLLOWS – NOT FOR KIDS!
This year, your letter to Santa will only be read by helper elves if it is mailed in one the following cities. Whether or not your letter is adopted by a helper elf, they always send every letter on to Santa, so he can send his gifts, too.
Address all letters to Santa —
Letters mailed in any of the cities below will be read by helper elves:
IN 2019, LETTERS MAILED TO SANTA FROM THESE CITIES ASKING SANTA FOR HELP WITH CHRISTMAS, WILL BE POSTED FOR NATIONAL ONLINE LETTER ADOPTION.
• Grand Rapids, Michigan
• Hatteras Island, North Carolina
• Los Angeles
• New York City
• Okracoke Island, North Carolina
• San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Washington D.C.
First, know that Be An Elf does not send gifts directly to families who email us. Gifts are sent only by volunteers who adopt letters. All letters this year should be addresse d to:
In proportion to the amount of donations we get from the public, Be An Elf adopts letters, but we ONLY adopt letters we get at the post office. So please don’t email us and ask for gifts, because we do not send gifts to people who email us. Like the hundreds of volunteers across the nation, we only adopt letters while visiting participating postal branches.
If you are seeking assistance for the holidays, here is the best way to get gifts for your kids through this program. Address your letter to Santa, c/o Operation Santa, and add the address of any participating postal branch. If it’s still early December, it’s not too late. All the addresses are on our Locations page. Some branches like New York accept letters up through Christmas.
If you like, you can let your kids know that these 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 letter they wrote him, and they’ll get gifts from him, too. Our volunteers will make a photocopy of each letter they adopt, and mail the original letter directly 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 early days of December, but some branches accept letters until right before Christmas, as you will see on the list of participating branches on our Locations page. We include letter submission deadlines on our Locations page when the postal branches provide them.
WHAT’S SANTA’S STREET ADDRESS?
You may write to Santa in care of any post office listed on our Locations page — and it’s fine to write to addresses out of your State, although your gift might not arrive in time for Christmas. But read the following first:
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. Volunteer elves quickly spot copied letters, and it turns them off. Santa does not like that. 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.
IS THERE AN EMAIL ADDRESS FOR SANTA?
There is no email we know of to write to Santa for gifts, and emails sent to this website asking for gifts will not reach Santa, even if parents are sending them. See above for where to write to Santa! Most kids write handwritten letters, or their Moms write for them, if they are too little to write. Some draw pictures; older kids often type them and add pictures they draw.
CAN I ADOPT A LETTER TO SANTA ONLINE?
Yes! The USPS is putting some kids’ letters up for adoption online at a new website, USPSoperationsanta.com — and Santa’s helpers can adopt letters online, and the send them on to Santa in the mail, of course! Hopefully, there will be a way to email Santa one day, but for now, letters sent in the mail will be the way to go. Most will doubtless be handwritten, and some will be from moms, but handwritten letters from kids are still the most engaging. It’s an old holiday tradition!
SOME LETTERS TO SANTA ARE MORE LIKELY TO MAKE A VOLUNTEER CARE
There are many thousands of letters to Santa, far too many for the volunteers to answer, so most go unanswered.
One thought is to have your child write two letters to Santa: one that’s directed to his helpers, asking Santa only for new shoes, school supplies, a backpack or a warm coat, only if your child doesn’t have one, or needs a new one. List basic necessities your child is in need of, because that will move our volunteers more.
Your other letter could be a wish list: a toy they want, a new laptop, X-Box or video game. Staple them together, and see! Our volunteers are less likely to provide those, but Santa might! There are no bad wishes. We are just respectfully pointing out that some letters move volunteer elves more than others — and there are many, many letters on the tables for them to read.
Letters from children are more likely to be adopted than letters from parents; kids’ letters have more credibility with volunteers. If you are writing Santa as a parent, you might explain to the volunteer elves that your kids are too little to write themselves. If they are older, put your kids’ letters in the same envelope as yours. That way volunteers will get the full picture of your family (see below).
To be sure, parents who also include an honest, heartfelt description of their living conditions at home and present financial circumstances will often inspire a volunteer to help. Sometimes even kids even write about the sad things in their lives to Santa, but do not prompt them to do it. We want your kids’ Christmas to be as happy as possible.
PUT THE WHOLE FAMILY’S LETTERS IN A SINGLE ENVELOPE, SO A VOLUNTEER CAN ADOPT YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS, TOO
To make sure that you are not the only one in the family getting gifts from Santa, we recommend 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 clothing sizes in your letter.
Again, write to Santa in care of this year’s participating postal branches — and make best efforts to mail your letter by the end of November first week in December. Thanksgiving weekend is a great time for kids to sit down and write to Santa.
The number of Santa letters Be An Elf answers increases directly in relation to the amount of donations we recieve. In years when we get more donations, we adopt more letters. Our mission also includes letting the public know about the USPS program, inspiring new and old volunteers to participate, so kids get more gifts, and filling our elves around the nation with the true spirit of Christmas.
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” (for good, or for free). Mail a copy directly to every specialist in your area.
Please do not send letters to Santa to our address. Santa will not get your letter here.
You must address your letter to Santa Claus, care of the address of a post office on the list participating postal branches. It’s best to send your letter in late November or early December.
If you don’t need help, please donate so we can adopt more letters this year!
Your tax-deductible gift to Be An Elf will help us adopt more letters, and will 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 will send each family 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.”
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