(WOWK) – The United States Postal Service is working to help give families in need some of the holiday season magic with its Operation Santa program.
Operation Santa has been helping make children’s wishes come true for 109 years, according to the USPS. The program has already been receiving letters to Santa since November 1, but officials say there is still time for those who want to participate to get letters in before Christmas.
“USPS Operation Santa was established by the Postal Service to help those in need during the holidays. Whether you believe in Santa or not, the nondenominational program is intended to help as many deserving families as possible experience a happy holiday season,” the USPS said.
To participate, families need to write a physical letter to Santa, put it in an envelope with a complete return address, including a full name, street address, apartment number (if applicable) city, state and ZIP Code. Then, the letter writer will need to add Santa’s mailing address – 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888 and then put a First-Class Mail or Forever postage stamp on the envelope and put it in the mail.
USPS officials say the letters must be postmarked by Dec. 10. Any envelopes without full names and completed return addresses will not be posted and envelopes without postage stamps will not arrive at their location.
The letters arrive at Santa’s satellite workshop where they are reviewed and personal information is redacted, the USPS says. Officials will then populate the letters to USPSOperationSanta.com where starting today, Nov. 29, people can give Old St. Nick a helping hand and adopt those letters. To adopt a letter, those interested will need to create an account with the website and have their identities verified by following the website’s prompts. The USPS says those who wrote letters do not need to create an account.
For those who adopt a letter, the website has steps to help make sure the gifts arrive to Santa’s sleigh in time for his Christmas Eve flight.
USPS officials do say that the program relies solely on random acts of kindness from strangers and there is no guarantee a letter will get adopted.