US Postal Service's 'Operation Santa' letter campaign goes digital in 108th year

In its 108th year, the US Postal Service's annual "Operation Santa" lett...

Posted: Nov 19, 2020 1:02 PM

In its 108th year, the US Postal Service's annual "Operation Santa" letter writing campaign is going digital -- and expanding nationwide -- to adapt to the ongoing pandemic.

The program allows children and families to write letters to Santa, which will then be processed and shared online beginning on December 4 at USPSOperationSanta.com. Once the letters are live, anyone in the US can go online and adopt a letter, and help make a child or family's holiday wishes come true. Companies also can help adopt letters as teams.

While anyone and everyone can write a letter, the program was started to help families and kids in need, said Kim Frum, a spokeswoman for USPS.

"The program has always been about providing holiday gifts for families who may not have the means to provide for anything more than basic everyday needs," Frum told CNN in email.

Over the last 108 years, the USPS has received hundreds of thousands of letters as part of the "Operation Santa" program, Frum said. Last year alone, more than 11,000 packages were sent to people who wrote to Santa and had their letters adopted.

USPS first launched an online pilot of USPS Operation Santa in 2017 in New York City, Frum said. It expanded to seven cities online in 2018, and 17 cities in 2019. The success of the digitization of the program helped pave the way for this year's expansion.

The decision to go fully digital comes as coronavirus cases continue to surge nationwide, leaving the nation to grapple with the consequences, including the economic impact.

"This year, there are likely more families impacted financially and emotionally. It will be hard to celebrate the holidays without loved ones, whether because of distance or actual loss. But being able to provide even the tiniest bit of normalcy or spark of happiness to those in need would mean the world to so many people right now."

As of Tuesday evening, there are more than 11.3 million coronavirus cases in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University data, and more than 248,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

"2020 has seen its share of challenges affecting individuals and families in so many ways," Frum said. "COVID-19 resulted in job losses, temporary unemployment, and, sadly, the loss of family and friends. Couple that with devastation from natural disasters, and it's easy to see why USPS Operation Santa program is more important than ever."

Those writing a letter to Santa can send it in an envelope with a first-class stamp addressed to Santa Claus, at his address: Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888. Those looking to adopt a letter must go through a short registration and ID verification process first. Full instructions are available on the Operation Santa website.

According to USPS, the identities of both the letter writers and the letter adopters are kept anonymous for privacy and to "preserve the spirit of Santa."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 749097

Reported Deaths: 13745
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1030271775
Lake554211006
Allen41613691
St. Joseph36933564
Hamilton36505416
Elkhart29347459
Tippecanoe22849225
Vanderburgh22540400
Porter19313325
Johnson18386387
Hendricks17583317
Clark13190193
Madison13111344
Vigo12602253
LaPorte12385221
Monroe12152175
Delaware10947197
Howard10250225
Kosciusko9609119
Hancock8541144
Bartholomew8158157
Warrick7854156
Floyd7763180
Grant7227179
Wayne7154201
Boone6911103
Morgan6735141
Dubois6211118
Marshall6205116
Cass5989108
Henry5893108
Dearborn588878
Noble579786
Jackson508374
Shelby500697
Lawrence4727121
Gibson444093
Harrison440473
Clinton439855
DeKalb438585
Montgomery433890
Whitley405642
Huntington402181
Steuben398659
Miami392568
Jasper386254
Knox375690
Putnam371860
Wabash360583
Ripley346470
Adams344955
Jefferson335685
White329753
Daviess3028100
Wells294881
Decatur289992
Greene286385
Fayette284664
Posey273735
LaGrange272872
Scott269855
Clay265448
Randolph244683
Washington244534
Jennings235149
Spencer234131
Starke227558
Fountain218347
Sullivan213943
Owen210858
Fulton201542
Jay200832
Carroll193420
Orange188055
Perry186937
Rush175626
Vermillion173544
Franklin170135
Tipton165746
Parke148916
Pike137934
Blackford136032
Pulaski120047
Newton112636
Brown103943
Crawford102316
Benton100814
Martin91415
Warren83515
Switzerland8098
Union72810
Ohio57811
Unassigned0421

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1106796

Reported Deaths: 20091
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1284601459
Cuyahoga1155792204
Hamilton812751245
Montgomery524631040
Summit48327999
Lucas43289817
Butler38886603
Stark33275929
Lorain25631502
Warren24554303
Mahoning22327601
Lake21133385
Clermont20095252
Delaware18815135
Licking16643222
Fairfield16552204
Trumbull16520479
Medina15592270
Greene15246246
Clark14216306
Wood13276197
Portage13226214
Allen11904239
Richland11596211
Miami10832223
Wayne9112222
Columbiana9016230
Muskingum8889135
Pickaway8646122
Marion8633138
Tuscarawas8633247
Erie8049164
Ashtabula7136179
Hancock6995131
Ross6932161
Geauga6831150
Scioto6525104
Belmont6148174
Union583549
Lawrence5722102
Jefferson5669158
Huron5539122
Sandusky5433125
Darke5414129
Seneca5342126
Washington5307109
Athens523360
Auglaize501587
Mercer487385
Shelby476195
Knox4567112
Madison443665
Ashland435097
Putnam4333103
Fulton431871
Defiance431798
Crawford4031110
Brown401861
Logan387177
Preble3847103
Clinton378166
Ottawa372581
Highland359165
Williams347578
Champaign343558
Guernsey324153
Jackson317254
Perry297150
Morrow291240
Fayette285450
Hardin274865
Henry273267
Holmes2697101
Coshocton268359
Van Wert247264
Adams242856
Pike242735
Gallia240450
Wyandot234556
Hocking220062
Carroll196648
Paulding176342
Meigs148240
Monroe136144
Noble135739
Harrison113638
Morgan109624
Vinton85417
Unassigned03
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