For decades the U.S. Postal Service has asked people and organizations to adopt letters addressed to Santa from children in need. This year Austin will be among the 15 cities whose letters are included in the program named Operation Santa.
The postal service has been receiving letters to Santa Claus for more than a hundred years. The name Operation Santa was given to the program in 1912 when the postmaster decided to allow employees and private citizens to respond to those letters. In the 1940s, the postal service says the number of letters to Santa increased so much the program expanded to include nonprofits and corporations, and participants started sending back small gifts as well as written responses.
Today, letters to the man in the red suit are uploaded to the Operation Santa website. People who want to help can browse through them, choose a letter to adopt, then mail a holiday package to the child who wrote it.