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‘This is what life is about’

Employees share Operation Santa memories

Postal employee holds holiday greeting card.
Sonya Dulan, an Oklahoma City customer relations coordinator, has fond memories of the USPS Operation Santa program.

Sonya Dulan remembers the concern she felt about Operation Santa as Christmas approached in 1999, not long after a massive tornado tore through central Oklahoma.

Dulan, a USPS customer relations coordinator in Oklahoma City, oversees Operation Santa in her community. The national program allows customers to aid families in need by “adopting” their letters to Santa Claus and granting their holiday wishes.

“My thought was, ‘Oh my, this community has given so much to the survivors of the tornado that they will not participate in Operation Santa this year,’” Dulan recalled.

It turns out she had nothing to worry about.

“To my surprise, I could not keep enough letters available for people to assist the families,” Dulan said. “Individuals and organizations were contacting us every day to get letters from families needing help for the holiday. It was the best year the local program ever had.”

Dulan is one of several employees who are sharing their Operation Santa memories as USPS gears up for this year’s program, which will run from Nov. 18-Dec. 20.

The program’s new website,, has instructions on participating.

Another employee with fond memories of giving back is Joan Barrett, a general expeditor at the Columbus, OH, Processing and Distribution Center.

She helped fulfill the wishes of customers in need during a previous assignment at a South Columbus Post Office and remembers how good it made her and her co-workers feel.

“This is what life is about,” Barrett said. “It was a great time.”

If you have stories about how you and your co-workers participate in the current Operation Santa program, email them to

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