MUSCATINE, Iowa–With Christmas only a few short weeks away, the Muscatine Post Office will soon start receiving many letters for Santa. In the past, local staff has worked to ensure that children got their very own letters from Santa in response. Now, they have the opportunity to help them get gifts as well through the United States Postal Service Operation Santa.
Started in New York City in 1912, Operation Santa allows individuals and businesses to respond to a child’s Santa letter. Each letter contains specific requests from real children, ranging from anything from small toys, to warm clothing, to larger items to help a family member during a difficult time. Over the past several years, the program has expanded to select cities before going nationwide this year.
If children would like to participate, they may write letters to Santa and send them to his official address:
123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888
Each letter to Santa must include a stamp. Additionally, children should provide specific information about the size and style of clothing they would like and the names of any particular books, games, or toys they would like. This allows those shopping for them to get them gifts they can truly use and enjoy. Kids must get their letters in the mail by Dec. 14 in order to participate.
Once the post office receives letters, they will remove identifying information from the letter and assign it a number for reference. This protects the safety of everyone who participates. Then, individuals and businesses from across the county may view them and choose to adopt them. Adopters will purchase gifts and pay the postage to mail them, and the post office will ensure they get to the right address.
As Muscatine County children get ready to start writing their Santa Letters this holiday season, the Muscatine Post Office looks forward to helping answer them through USPS Operation Santa. “I think that’s great,” said Muscatine Post Office worker Carrie Clawson. “They’ve taken it nationwide, which is amazing,” she added, reflecting that in previous years Muscatine could, “answer Santa letters on a local level, but we weren’t able to provide for them.”
If you have a little one who would like to participate in this program and needs help composing their letter, Clawson recommends visiting the USPS Operation Santa website, which has letter templates kids can print out or hand copy onto their own paper. Anyone or any organization who would like to provide gifts for a child may also view and adopt a letter via the website as well.