Have you ever wondered how Santa can read letters from every child out there? Truth is, he needs help.
The U.S. Postal Service is hoping you can pick up some of the slack this year. Through Operation Santa, you can be one of Santa’s elves, adopt a letter from a child or family in need, or help Santa make sure no kids are missed this year.
Eric Michael Cap is a volunteer with BeAnElf.org and has been doing it for a few years.
“On Christmas Day, a child’s going to be opening a gift that he or she’s maybe not expecting, and there’s going to be a big grin on his or her face,” Cap said. “For me, that’s what Christmas is about. It’s about giving. I love it. I love it!”
Quick tip: Though a lot of the neediest individual letters have already been adopted, you can scroll through the “families” tab to see families that still have a lot of needs this year.
Also, shop fast! Those gifts need to be in to the post office by Dec. 21.
When the Postal Service gets a letter addressed to Santa (at 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888), it’s scanned, personal information is removed and it’s uploaded to its website for people to read.
Letters are then “adopted” by people, and wishes are fulfilled.
USPS first launched Operation Santa in 1912, when then-Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to open up letters to Santa for employees to read and respond to.
It was opened to the public in the 1940s, went digital in 2017 and expanded in 2019.
WTOP’s Will Vitka contributed to this report.