This year, we at Brave Dog looked to do something to bring some holiday cheer to people in the Los Angeles area. When we discovered the Operation Santa program, we were excited to participate.
We annually participate in the Taft Building’s Toys for Tots program here at Hollywood and Vine, but this year, we wanted to do something a little more personal for the holidays. Operation Santa was a perfect fit. Run by the United States Postal Service, it encourages kids from families in need to write letters to Santa Claus and send them to the post office. The letters go to the program, where they’re passed on to volunteers who read the letters through and head out to buy the items the kids asked for.
There were a huge number of letters available at the Operation Santa post office in Los Angeles, many cute and earnest, asking for a wide variety of toys (and a few gifts for brothers, sisters and parents, as well). Participants are able to choose whatever letters they might want, and as many as they can fulfill. The idea is to be a secret Santa of sorts for a few kids who need it.
The best part of Operation Santa is the letters. The chance to make Christmas happen for real kids who need it is pretty exciting, and definitely heartwarming. What’s more, the USPS does a great job running the program. When we dropped off our gifts at the Operation Santa facility, we spent some time speaking with the USPS workers there, who diligently checked in all our packages and then shipped them to the appropriate places. The whole system has a personal touch and attention to detail that makes it very well-run. We felt like our gifts were in good hands.
Though it’s too late to participate in Operation Santa this year, we can’t recommend the program enough. There are a few Operation Santa USPS facilities throughout the country, and it’s possible to donate to the program as well. We’ll be back next year to Be an Elf for a few kids in the Los Angeles area, and for anyone looking for a way to give back and brighten up some Christmases, it’s a great program that’s a lot of fun.
You can find everything you need to know about Operation Santa here, on the USPS website for the program.
Until 2017, happy holidays from Brave Dog, and Happy New Year!