HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The holidays are a great time to pay it forward if you can. The United States Postal Service (USPS) hopes people get into the giving spirit this year, and take part in the “Operation Santa” program.
The program connects people that need a little help with their Christmas list to people who are willing to buy what’s on their list.
Here’s how it works: Families or children write a letter to send to Santa, and mail it to 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888. They can outline what they would like to receive for the holidays.
Debbie Fetterly, a spokesperson for the USPS said this year clothes are the most popular item people are asking for. However, people also ask for things like toys, books, and games.
Fetterly said some of the letters to Santa can be quite heartfelt.
“I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about some of the letter’s I’ve read, they really tear at your heart strings,” she said.
When the USPS receives the letters, they post them online, so people can “adopt” them.
“When we receive the letter, we help Santa and we go through the letters, redact the personal information and post them online,” Fetterly said.
The people in the giving spirit can chose who they would like to help.
Fetterly said new letters are posted every day, so if none are available when you look, check back again later. She said all letters are posted, to help everyone.
“Maybe pick one that touches you, maybe there’s a couple of them,” she explained.
Fetterly said there is a process “adopters” have to go through, but it’s worth it to “make someone else’s holiday a happy one.”
Daisha Rembert told News 19 she found out about Operation Santa through a friend of hers who is a social worker. She said she understands it has been a tough year financially for some people.
“Groceries went up, everything went up,” Rembert said.
She said she helped her two young sons write their letters to Santa.
“I put books, I put balls because I have two boys, I put learning supplies,” she said of what was on their lists.
She said in her house, they like to focus on family time and knowing that gifts aren’t the reason for the season. However, she does hope someone finds their letters and helps.
“I just pray that everybody has a good holiday, everybody is blessed and that everything goes well and people stay healthy,” Rembert said.
The deadline to send letters to Santa is December 12. If you have “adopted” a letter, the deadline to get your package in the mail with delivery in time for Christmas is December 19.
More information on the USPS “Operation Santa” program can be found here.