USPS in need of volunteers to handle letters to Santa

People wishing to help the U.S. Postal Service answer letters to Santa Claus from needy families can begin registering Monday, when Operation Santa opens to the public for volunteer registration at

Every year since 1912, the postal service has processed a massive amount of mail from children whose lists include basic necessities like a warm coat, and from parents who describe their struggles with employment or health. The USPS recruits individual and group volunteers for help with getting these kids Christmas gifts.

Letters to Santa Claus

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Beginning Nov. 29, anyone can adopt one or more of these letters. Family names and addresses are redacted, and when a volunteer adopts a letter online, a bar-coded shipping label prints out with each letter. Volunteers use it to mail gifts directly to the child or family who wrote to Santa.

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.

Among the many groups pitching in to help is Southern California-based, which offers an online guide to the program for families in need and for volunteers from the public who wish to adopt their letters to Santa.

Parents seeking help with Christmas gifts can find useful do's and don'ts at

"Some people feel alone and sad over Christmas, and find comfort and inspiration volunteering for this program," BeAnElf's Patrick Reynolds told City News Service on Sunday. "They catch the true spirit of the holidays, knowing they will put smiles on kids' faces on Christmas."

Letters to Santa must be postmarked by Dec. 10 to be selected for the website. The site closes for letter adoption on Dec. 23.

Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.