CLEVELAND — The delivery professionals at the U.S. Postal Service are on a mission to help make kids’ holiday wishes come true. 

What You Need To Know

  • Operation Santa delivers holiday happiness to kids sending wish lists to Santa

  • Letters must be postmarked by Dec. 10

  • Letters can be adopted from

December is a busy time of year for the post office, something Kathy Stout has become used to in her 18 years as a letter carrier. 

“Lots of catalogs, things of that nature,” she said. 

Her mail route includes about 420 possible stops. It’s a routine she said she knows and loves. 

“I actually enjoy the job,” she said. “I love my customers.”

While she walks from mailbox to mailbox, she keeps an eye out for anything addressed to the North Pole. 

“We all see them over the years and you know that that’s something special,” she said. “And it just, it warms your heart. To know that you’re making a difference there.”

The woman, who is both a mother and grandmother, said Dec. 25 is her favorite day. 

“Seeing their face light up,” Stout said. “I couldn’t imagine if they didn’t know the magic of Christmas.”

It is magic she wants every kid to feel when they write a letter to Santa Claus. 

“These memories stay with them their whole life through, and every child deserves the happy memories, not the bad ones,” she said. 

Stout and Santa’s other helpers at the postal service are giving him a hand will all of the letters by posting them online for adoption with Operation Santa. Those who adopt the letters purchase the gifts, then send them to the child as a holiday surprise. 

“To them, it comes from Santa and they don’t think any different,” Stout said. “They don’t know any different.”

The address information for both the child and the gift-giver is kept confidential and donors remain anonymous. It’s something the post office has been doing for more than 100 years and something near and dear to Stout’s heart. 

“Christmas is, to me, it is all about family,” Stout said. “It’s about making it special when you can.”

Letters to Santa need to be postmarked by Dec. 10. His address and information about adopting a letter can be found at