From USPS News Link:
The Postal Service’s “Letters to Santa” program is celebrating 100 years of helping make children’s holiday wishes come true.
USPS began receiving letters addressed to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago. It wasn’t until 1912 that employees and citizens in New York City began responding to the letters through a program that came to be known locally as “Operation Santa.” Today, the popular nationwide program is known as “Letters to Santa” — except in New York, where the city’s own “Operation Santa” responds to more than 500,000 letters each year.
Once again this year, employees and members of the public, charitable organizations and corporations can help USPS respond to letters received addressed to Santa by participating in Letters to Santa — set to kick off Dec.4.
To maintain the trust of its customers and to safeguard the mail, Post Offices must follow certain guidelines that are designed to protect the children who write the letters.
These guidelines include adherence to the newly-modified letter adoption process. Individuals wishing to “adopt” letters must do so in person, present valid photo identification and complete PS Form 6012-I, Operation Santa Letter (Individual).
Charitable organizations and business corporations are required to follow similar guidelines. Representatives with correspondence on corporate letterheads authorizing them to view the Operation Santa letters on the company’s behalf must present employee IDs and valid state driver’s licenses or state-issued ID cards. They must fill out PS Form 6012, Operation Santa Letter (Organization) — and list the letters selected for adoption.
Each year, thousands of volunteers work with Post Offices to respond to letters from children of all ages listing their holiday wishes.