Operation Santa: Kids' Christmas lists go virtual, as USPS wish-granters volunteer in force

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Kids' Christmas wishes for Santa are looking a bit different this year with the coronavirus pandemic, but the United States Postal Service is making it easier for those wishes to come true, by going digital.

The USPS' Operation Santa Program is in it's 108th year and Dec. 4 is the first day of the season. Letters will be "adopted" by volunteers, anywhere in the country, so those wishes can be sent through the mail and come true.

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Along with the usual requests for the hot toys of the season and a new pet, there were many letters that had a sad tone, such as one that read, in part, "things have not been great" and "my family hasn't been able to afford to buy me things."

"The wildfires affected our area and we have a lot of people in the San Francisco district," Kristina Uppal, who works for USPS said. She says at the same time, she also sees more adopters than ever.

"Certainly this year I expect families are really going to be impacted and they could probably use that extra attention," Uppal said.

That wish seems to have been granted. By midday Friday, the Operation Santa website showed all the letters for the day had been adopted. More will be added each day until Dec. 15.

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Meantime, we wanted to share two young boys' Christmas wishes for this year. Altair and his friend Ian share their most pressing wish for Santa.
"I just want to spend time with my friends and family and all the good stuff... if we work together we can make the world a better place so let's put our masks over our mouths and nose," says 9-year old Altair at San Francisco's Lafayette Park.

His friend Ian, age 11, echoed a similar holiday sentiment.

"I didn't really make my list yet but I'd like a gaming headset... but most of all I just would really like this pandemic to end."

Visit the Operation Santa website for information on how to participate.

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