Operation Santa Claus

Rebecca Carroll —  November 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

santaThe holiday season’s not yet in full swing, but Santa Letter Week is here, the second week in November. It’s a great way to practice the art of letter writing while getting some great ideas about what the little ones in your life might want for gifts.

Yes, the Thanksgiving turkey hasn’t even been cooked and carved yet, and “Frosty the Snowman” hasn’t even been on TV for the first time this year. Many people get into the holiday spirit by taking part in Operation Santa Claus, which has been operating officially for over 100 years.

Schools, charities, civic groups and individuals may contact their local post office in early December through December 24th via the USPS website or calling 1-800-275-8777 and ask if your post office is participating in Operation Santa Claus. Groups must make an appointment to review the letters, and present a letter of introduction on letterhead; individuals do not need to make an appointment. Both groups and individuals must present a valid ID.

Typically, these letters are written by very needy children to Santa, and often the children ask for much-needed supplies for their families like diapers, “a blanket for my baby brother” or formula, as much as a toy or game for their siblings or themselves.

The letters are coded; once you’ve selected your letter(s) and shopped, wrap and return the packages ready for mailing and the package will be coded to the letter. You, as one of Santa’s “elves,” are responsible for postage.

You may be aware of other ways to give in your community,from food banks to soup kitchens to “giving trees” at local places of worship. Everyone can play “Santa” in their own way–what’s yours?

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