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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

USPS Begins 99th Year of Operation Santa

Operation Santa comes again this year answering many children's wishes.

It’s that time of the year again. Operation Santa is back making kids dreams come true during the holiday seasons.

For nearly 100 years, the Postal Service has allowed children to write to Santa and has had volunteers adopt the letters and respond.

This year marks the 99th year of Operation Santa and to start it off a celebration will take hold at the famous James A. Farley Building Post Office in New York City, where the most letters are received.

Last year, Operation Santa in Los Angeles came upon a special case. A young girl, Shimaya Miles was born deaf due to having no ear on one side and half an ear on the other. A medical staff came upon her mother Maya Worthey’s letter and gave it a chance. Dr. Leif Rogers and Dr. Sheryl Lewin performed a surgery to construct an ear for Miles pro bono.

“It’s really a unique thing that the post office can bring a patient and a doctor together,” said Lewin.

Miles is now more outgoing and confident in her social life according to her mother. It is not only the recipients of Operation Santa that get blessed, but also those that volunteer to give

It was challenging for Dr. Lewin in the beginning to communicate with Miles, who spoke only sign language, but “she just grew over time to trust me and so our relationship has grown into a very special one that I really cherish,” said Lewin.

Many people and charitable organizations have taken part in this program all over the U.S. to give back to the children who need it.

“In the Los Angeles area we get over 500 letters,” said L.A. Post Master Mark Anderson.

Taking part in this operation is a way for many people to get involved in helping those in their communities. 

“It is quite rare to find an organization that has a program within our own community to help people within our own community. And that kind of a local giving really makes it a special place,” said Dr. Lewin.

Operation Santa will open to the public on December 1.  Customers will have to provide valid identification and sign PS-Form 6012 or 6012-I from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and on Thursdays until 7 p.m., in order to adopt a letter.

For those who want to respond to a letter, can contact the Post Offfice at:

Los Angeles District Office
7001 S. Central Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90051


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