Although the United States Postal Service (USPS) has been struggling over the past few years, they're dedicated to continuing their traditional Operation Santa program. Through the initiative, children within the U.S. are able to write letters directly to Santa – addressed to the North Pole – and have them answered by one of many volunteers. Some even include the requested gifts.
Kim Frum, a spokeswoman with USPS, described the program's purpose by saying: "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."
In 2020, which officially marks the 108th year of the Operation Santa program, the USPS is doing things a little bit differently. While they're still holding the annual event, which begins on December 4, 2020, the USPS is finally going digital. Moreover, they're still accepting letters via their traditional mail service; they're simply making it easier for people to adopt and respond to letters in time for Christmas.
This isn't even the first time the Operation Santa program has had a digital presence. An online pilot program was originally launched in New York City in 2017. It was expanded in 2018 to include a total of seven cities and again in 2019 to feature 17 cities.
As of 2020, however, the online Operation Santa program is now available to all U.S. residents across the nation. Since all of the letters to Santa will be shared and posted on their official website, the USPS has to consider the extra amount of data storage needed to accommodate these files. More than 11,000 letters were answered in 2019 alone, and officials are optimistic that they'll see even more letters and responses this year.
It's important to note that the Operation Santa program will not be accepting in-person letter adoptions or responses in 2020. This is a direct result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the online portal is the only way you can adopt a letter and send your response to a child or family in need this year.
Frum continued her statement by saying: ''"2020 has seen its share of challenges affecting individuals and families in so many ways. 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 who are worried about online privacy should also note that the USPS takes your personal privacy seriously. They adopted a serious of national guidelines in 2006, and they've since modified the letter adoption process to provide even more anonymity and protection for those who respond to letters addressed to Santa.
For more information on Operation Santa, or if you're a U.S. resident who wants to adopt a letter, please visit their official website at www.USPSOperationSanta.com. If you want to write your own letter to Santa, you can do so by sending it to: Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888.
US Postal Service Embraces Digital Storage for Annual Operation Santa Program
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