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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 18, 2020 3:18 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."

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3055568

Reported Deaths: 34441
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103280614122
San Bernardino2561091560
Riverside2504362645
San Diego2168352109
Orange2148082477
Santa Clara943661109
Kern86718565
Fresno82485968
Sacramento806781111
Alameda67952765
Ventura62101436
San Joaquin58290786
Contra Costa52965450
Stanislaus42882758
Tulare41867506
Monterey36126255
San Mateo32596309
San Francisco29321262
Solano25806106
Imperial25317465
Santa Barbara25083236
Merced24452308
Sonoma24068240
Kings19435145
Placer17380180
San Luis Obispo15929136
Madera13443151
Santa Cruz12298113
Marin11693157
Yolo10620131
Shasta9776122
Butte9474123
El Dorado782644
Sutter775478
Napa760140
Lassen519516
San Benito496343
Yuba495127
Tehama397142
Tuolumne338240
Nevada320673
Mendocino311432
Amador301631
Lake261230
Humboldt239324
Glenn193519
Colusa17339
Calaveras161723
Siskiyou144613
Mono11214
Inyo97429
Del Norte8662
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3024
Sierra820
Alpine730
Unassigned00
Chico
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 54°
Oroville
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 53°
Chico
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 54°
Red Bluff
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 17°
Feels Like: 55°
Red Bluff
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Chico
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 54°
As expected, we had much quieter weather around northern California on Wednesday with plenty of sunshine, much weaker wind, and a wide range of temperatures. Thursday will be similar, but much more active weather is coming.
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