USPS Will Let You Do This for the Holidays, Starting Nov. 28
The postal agency is rolling out this highly anticipated service in the coming weeks.
Most of us think about the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) solely in terms of our mailing and delivery needs. But the agency provides much more than that. Looking to purchase a money order? Or need to apply for a passport? Your easiest destination might just be your local post office, where someone can offer you assistance. As it turns out, there are other services the USPS provides that may feel less important but are actually essential. This holiday season, the USPS is offering something special that you might want to take part in. Read on to find out what the agency will let you do for the holidays, starting Nov. 28.
READ THIS NEXT: USPS Is Suspending Services Here, Starting Nov. 19.
The Postal Service has been preparing for the holidays all year.
No season is quite as hectic for the USPS as the winter holidays—which is why the agency started preparing for the 2022 holiday season all the way back in January. According to the Postal Service, several critical investments have been made ahead of time to prepare, including the conversion of 100,000 part-time employees to full-time positions, the hiring of an additional 28,000 peak-season employees, and the installation of over 100 new package processing machines.
"Successfully delivering for the holidays is a cornerstone of our Delivering for America 10-year plan," Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said in a statement. "Thanks to the 655,000 women and men of the Postal Service, recent investments and operational precision improvements, we are ready to be the most used delivery provider this holiday season."
Now, the USPS is offering another holiday service.
The agency is looking to make Christmas brighter.
On Nov. 14, the USPS issued a new press release unveiling this year's rollout of the agency's Operation Santa. "The season of giving is here, and the Postal Service is putting out the call for kind-hearted, generous people across the country to sign up to adopt letters to Santa," the release said.
Yes, you can answer the letters that children across the U.S. write to Saint Nick—and ship them the perfect gift to fulfill their Christmas dreams.
Letters will be available for adoption starting Nov. 28. At that point, participants will be able to "read through the posted letters and choose one or more to fulfill" until Dec. 19, according to the USPS. "Once the letters are chosen, the adopters must follow the directions included in their welcome email to fulfill the holiday wishes," the agency explained.
You have to get your identity verified to take part in Operation Santa.
In order to participate in adopting Santa letters, you need to be considered a verified adopter by the USPS "for security reasons," according to the agency. To get your identity verified, you must go to the Postal Service's Operation Santa website before the end of the month and create an account. You can go ahead and do this now, as the USPS opened registration on Nov. 14. "Even if someone adopted letters in the past, they must create a new account each year," the USPS noted.
If there is any issue preventing you from getting your identity verified online, you will be directed to an in-person verification process. "The Postal Service will send the adopter a barcode and the location of the nearest Post Office location that can provide in-person ID verification," the agency explained. "Once approved, the adopter will receive a welcome email with detailed information on how to participate in the program."
But the USPS is warning those interested not to fall for potential scams.
The Postal Service's Operation Santa is a long-standing tradition that has taken place for the last 110 years—and "hundreds of letters are written to Santa every year," according to the USPS. Unfortunately, the program also provides a perfect opportunity for scammers. "There is only one USPS Operation Santa program, sanctioned by the Postal Service," the agency warned.
The USPS said that you should watch out for one thing to avoid being scammed: payment requests. While you are responsible for all postage costs required to ship gift packages for any letter you choose to adopt, you don't have to pay upfront just to participate. "Fulfilling wishes through the official program is voluntary and any organization asking you to give them money to adopt letters is in violation of the laws under which the Postal Service operates and is not condoned by, or affiliated with, the U.S. Postal Service," the agency explained.