Operation Santa begins, find out how you can help

It's been more than 100 years since Operation Santa began, and the program that was designed to bring a smile to children around the country is still going strong.

When the program started in 1912 by then-Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock, it didn't have a name. But Hitchcock allowed local postmasters, employees, and everyday people to pick a letter written to Santa and respond.

In the 1940s, Santa received so much mail, charitable organizations and corporations started to help write back to children and families and provided small gifts.

Operation Santa is once again online at USPSOperationSanta.com.

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On the website, you can read through the letters that have been sent to Santa's mail room and answer one or more.

Some of the letters were written by children who are asking for video games, Legos and other toys.

But some of the letters, written by adults, talk about the struggles they are experiencing, but who still want to provide a Merry Christmas for their children.

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If you want to help, you begin by registering online and go through an identification process. Then you go to a participating post office, with letter and gift in hand, to ship it to the recipient. A code included on the letter matches the name and address of the child or family that had submitted the request to Santa.

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