USPS Operation Santa

The U.S. Postal Service receives millions of letters to Santa Claus

Because there’s no Post Office in the North Pole, these letters are undeliverable.

Some kids ask Santa Claus for toys. Most kids ask for help.

We couldn’t let them go unanswered.

We put these letters online for people to read and respond

From the ground up, we built an elegant process to sort, collect, open, categorize, and digitize thousands of letters. All while protecting the senders’ private information.

The website made it possible for anybody to experience these letters

All these letters were uploaded in their original form—handwriting and all—so readers could feel a real connection to the writer. In one click, a reader could adopt a child’s letter on the spot and become their Santa.

See the Letters

People got inspired and they got involved

As an inspiring and easy way to share the holiday spirit, the program struck a chord with people. They became advocates for Operation Santa because they wanted to leave no letter unanswered.

Read one of these letters, feel your heart melt into a puddle @marinarachael I’m crying because these are so precious @HairByLeatrice I love this and want to be a part of it. @BrandenHarvey I'm not crying, you're crying @bekkapalmer Gift haul for a family in need this holiday @socarolinesays Doing this will make you feel awesome, I promise. @CherryAdair Love that the USPS is taking their amazingly unique position seriously @LauraBehnrensWu This is the best thing you can do this month and it feels great. @ErinStrecker I promise you there’s nothing more rewarding this season than this @socarolinesays Doing this was the only fun I’ve had in weeks @HelloCullen Everything is garbage so make yourself feel better today by adopting a letter @kristenvmorris We're gonna make some kiddies so happy this Christmas! @trice10552 Making the season brighter thru @USPS Operation Santa #love @sfitzgerald9 This is amazing! @susnathesquark It’s been a long day of #Elfing for #OperationSanta @TheKitchenGaily I adopted one family then I read another letter adopted another! @CherryAdair You don’t have to be an old white man to be Santa @JenniferWright Staffers made like elves & set up their own Santa's workshop @Rubenstein Reminds me of when my kids wrote letters to Santa @DeborahLBaker1 You even get to go on a special line at the post office JUST FOR YOU. @jilltwiss It was the highlight of my life. @socarolinesays The only thing that will make me go to the post office @natalieweiner Best feeling of the year! #OperationSanta @SaraMarielP I just wish there was a drop off in SC. .. I love this! @DeboralBaker1 just emailed my wife and was like 'let's adopt a bunch of these!' @chrislhayes @jazzedloon at the loading dock with her family’s gifts @socarolinesays I encourage everyone to take part to spread the magic !! @fhsnyc The warmest and fuzziest of holiday traditions @srbrennan64 very excited to spend the afternoon getting my operation santa boxes together @natalieweiner This is good. This is a good thing you can do. #dobetter @MissTanya I know im the most cynical human but doing operation Santa this year was the best & warmed my heart & I hightly recommend it ok that's all @young_bananna We just adopted 3 letters and I cannot wait to get these to the families @jebc_27 Folks with a little to spare this holidays, 'Operation Santa' will warm your heart. @jakegiltsoff This is a rare marriage of tech & gov for the betterment of society. Bravo. @emilydelgreco New York folks, this is SUPER COOL and a great way to spread some cheer this Christmas! I encourage everyone to take part to spread the magic!! @fhsnyc Here's an easy and incredibly profound way to make a difference during this holiday season @goodgoodgoodco I'm so excited to sart getting gifts for the letter I adopted. @caseyanneaustin Can everyone do this I'm crying at my desk right now @zzoefox oh my, Operation Santa is ... something else. @shanella Just dropped off my package for Operation Santa at the post office and started crying when I saw the stacks of presents in the mailroom. @harmanticipants

Three weeks into the program, every letter was adopted.

The gifts started rolling in

We created a workflow for the Post Office to prepare employees for gifts arriving by the truckload.


Operation Santa

With this successful pilot in New York City, the program will go nationwide in 2018. So more children believe in Santa for another year.