Putting smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning.
Be An Elf's mission is to make underprivileged children smile on Christmas morning, and to inspire the public with the real spirit of Christmas. Starting the week after Thanksgiving, the non-profit group launches a nationwide campaign to recruit volunteers for the US Postal Service's Operation Letters to Santa program®, which for over 100 years has been distributing letters to Santa written by kids in real need. Their letters often ask Santa only for a toy, Christmas dinner, or clothes.
Anyone may read children's letters to Santa starting the first week of December. Volunteers may adopt the letters that move them most, take them home, and later mail their gifts directly to the needy family. There’s no middle man or charity when people participate in this way; it’s micro-philanthropy, direct from each volunteer to a child. Volunteers catch the true spirit of the holidays and put smiles on the faces of underprivileged kids on Christmas morning.
Some people feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort and inspiration being part of this program. Others have families and bring their kids, to teach them the meaning of Christmas. In 2014, children's letters were made available at 18 post offices around the US, mostly in very large cities.
Be An Elf was awarded a continuing $10,000 per month in-kind grant from Google for free advertising. Be An Elf is not affiliated with the US Postal Service's Operation Letters to Santa® program, but supports the program by recruiting new volunteers and making it easy to learn where and how to volunteer.
Every year around December 1st, the group creates public awareness of the USPS® program by sending out a news release to inspire press coverage. The same week, they post a list of this season's participating postal branches. The website offers suggestions for alternative ways to volunteer, if the USPS program is not offered locally, and provides excellent tips for volunteering effectively for this wonderful holiday program. To learn more, visit www.BeAnElf.org
You can read real letters to Santa from needy children, take home one or more that move you, and send your gifts directly to the child who wrote the letter.
There’s no middle man or charity; it’s micro-philanthropy, direct from you to a child, when you volunteer in this way.
You’ll catch the true spirit of the holidays, and put smiles on the faces of needy kids on Christmas morning.
Every year, Be An Elf recruits volunteers who adopt letters to Santa from low-income children. They read and select letters from kids at a participating post office, and send gifts directly to the neediest ones.
Children’s letters may be obtained only through the USPS Operation Letters to Santa ® program. We are not affiliated with the USPS® or its wonderful program, but every year we support them by recruiting new volunteers who adopt letters and send gifts to children.
Thanks to donations from the public and an in-kind grant from Google, we also create public awareness of the program. We let people know where they can adopt children’s letters, and offer excellent tips for volunteering. We also offer other ways to volunteer at Christmas when the program is not offered in your city. We also adopt letters to Santa ourselves.
Some volunteers feel alone and sad over the holidays, and find comfort and inspiration being part of this program. Others have families and bring their kids, to teach them the meaning of Christmas.
The venerable USPS ® makes the Santa letters available to the public every year starting around December 1st, and the program ends before Christmas. Come alone or bring your kids!
Be An Elf's mission is to make low income children smile on Christmas morning.
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