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Employees help grant holiday wishes

Santa Claus greets children
St. Nick greets children at an Operation Santa kickoff event in New York City this month.

USPS is once again delivering dreams through Operation Santa.

The annual program allows Postal Service employees and customers to help families in need by “adopting” their letters to Santa Claus and granting their holiday wishes.

“Operation Santa is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season,” said Washington, DC, Mail Handler Stephen Pearson. “It makes wishes come true.”

This year, USPS is testing a digital version of the program in New York City, where Operation Santa began in 1912. Other changes include expanding the program to help those in the Caribbean affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria.

“When so many have lost everything, including their homes, many children will probably not have a Christmas gift,” said Bronx, NY, Postmaster Lilliam Rodriguez, who recently appeared on Spanish-language television to promote the program.

“I am from Puerto Rico, and my heart is with my people, and I hope that with this effort we can bring joy to these children.”

The letters received through Operation Santa are often heartbreaking: Many requests come from children who want basic necessities, while others are written by youngsters who’ve experienced personal hardships.

In Oakland, CA, for example, employees received a letter from a child who asked Santa to find her missing father.

“I’ve had tears in my eyes as I read many of the [letters],” said Syracuse, IN, Acting Postmaster Beth Jungels. “My heart goes out to those children who are just asking for a pillow or simply a towel and a washcloth.”

The USPS Holiday Newsroom site has more information about Operation Santa, including a list of this year’s participating postal facilities.

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