Home > NewsRelease > USPS OPERATION SANTA OFFERING CHRISTMAS VOLUNTEERS NEEDY KIDS’ LETTERS TO SANTA IN 16 US CITIES, AND NOW ONLINE
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USPS OPERATION SANTA OFFERING CHRISTMAS VOLUNTEERS NEEDY KIDS’ LETTERS TO SANTA IN 16 US CITIES, AND NOW ONLINE
From:
Be An Elf -- Letters to Santa Be An Elf -- Letters to Santa
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Los Angeles , CA
Friday, June 21, 2019

 

BeAnElf.org is an excellent online guide to Operation Santa. In news coverage, please include a link to the site as a resource for those wishing to volunteer for the program. The site offers a list of all participating USPS ® branches, including the days and hours of operation, and smart tips for volunteering. The group creates public awareness of the program, promotes it in social media, and adopts their own letters as donations come in. Donations to Be An Elf are tax-deductible.

The US Postal Service ® has made the children’s letters available every December since 1912. In 2018, the letters to Santa may be adopted in person at a single postal branch in each of the following 16 cities: Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Orlando, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Oklahoma City, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Santa Clarita, CA, Santa Ana, CA and Warsaw, IN.

Each branch sets its schedule according to expected public demand for Santa letters, so the days and hours vary from city to city.

Online adoption will be available to those who live in or near these 7 cities: New York, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Austin, San Diego and Washington, DC. In the pilot program in New York in 2017, of approximently 7,100 letters uploaded online, 5,000 were adopted.

Be An Elf is a tax-exempt charity founded by volunteer Patrick Reynolds in 2004 to create public awareness of the USPS Operation Santa ® program. While not affiliated with the USPS ® program, Be An Elf supports Operation Santa ® by recruiting hundreds of new volunteers for it every year.

Patrick Reynolds is a grandson of tobacco company founder RJ Reynolds, makers of Camel, but received the Lifetime Achievement award in 2015 from President Obama for his work against Big Tobacco.

“Some Operation Santa volunteers feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort and inspiration volunteering for this program. People catch the true spirit of the holidays, and put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning. It’s micro-philanthropy, direct from a volunteer to a child,” says Mr. Reynolds. 

One tip Be An Elf offers is to give a holiday party at which friends and neighbors are invited to bring gifts for kids, and share the gift wrapping. Another tip suggests volunteers can adopt multiple letters by mailing gift cards from Target or Costco, and letting the kids’ Moms do the shopping for their families. Companies may adopt up to 100 letters to Santa, and distribute them to committees of interested employees.

BeAnElf.org suggests smart gifts like backpacks, school supplies, new clothes (not used), books, and a small gift for the mothers, whom the site says are sometimes feeling sad over the holidays. The site notes that some moms also write to Santa, listing their children’s clothing and shoe sizes. Often their kids are too little to write to Santa themselves.

Mr. Reynolds’ bio is at Anti-smoking.org/bio/ Links to two cable network news interviews about Be An Elf from 2011 are below.

Please tag your story about the USPS program with a mention of BeAnElf.org as an excellent online resource and guide to the program.

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Be An Elf ... Letters to Santa
Playa del Rey, CA
310-577-9828