Santa’s helpers

Chicago Acting Postmaster Tangela Bush and Santa Claus (Mechanic Eddie Spearman) pass out gift bags at a recent Operation Santa event.

Santa Claus is getting by — with a little “elf” from USPS.

Employees across the nation are participating in Operation Santa, the Postal Service’s annual program to fulfill the holiday wishes of children in need.

Through Operation Santa, volunteers at select USPS facilities respond to letters addressed to St. Nick. Individuals also can “adopt” a letter and grant the child’s holiday wishes.

“We do have many, many letters where the kids are just requesting either toys or even blankets or coats,” New York City Postmaster Kevin Crocilla told the local CBS station. “Some of the letters tug at your heart strings.”

Santa himself recently visited the Chicago Main Post Office to offer his encouragement to participants. He also passed out gift bags to preschoolers — with help from Acting Postmaster Tangela Bush, who donned an elf outfit.

Not all volunteers are employees. Customers also can participate — and organizers are eager to welcome them.

“We’re looking for Chicagoans to join us in helping as many families as possible this year,” said Chicago Customer Services Manager Janice Hall. 

More information — including privacy guidelines and a list of participating facilities — is available from the USPS holiday newsroom.