Postal Letters - Program Gives Kids Hope For a Special Holiday
More than 100 years ago, the U.S. Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa Clause. That tradition continues.
The Postal Service is once again teaming with PIER 39 as it joins in the festivities for the PIER 39 Tree Lighting Celebration. A special area is being set up for children, who will have the opportunity to write letters to Santa.
“This is a very special holiday tradition that the Postal Service does yearly,” said Luna. “Working with the Letters to Santa program is one of the ways our employees celebrate the season and give back to the community.”
In 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to the Letters to Santa program — this became known as Operation Santa. In the 1940s, mail volume for Santa increased so much that the Postal Service invited charitable organizations and corporations to participate by providing written responses and small gifts.
Through the years, the program has taken on a life of its own and today, cities, around the country have extremely successful programs with charitable organizations, corporations, local businesses and postal employees making a difference in the lives of children from coast to coast.
This year’s program changed slightly to add a layer of security to protect little letter writers. Letters to Santa will no longer be mailed or faxed to individuals — all requests must be made in person. Individuals must present photo identification to receive letters. Third parties, such as charities, businesses, schools etc., wishing to adopt letters, must now fill-out forms as well.
Those wishing to participate in the program can pick up letters at the following Post Offices:
Days and times vary for program participation so customers should call their nearest Post Office for details.
Source: U.S. Postal Service
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