After a challenging year, many at DMC wanted to make the holiday season extra special. We used our monthly social budget, the DMC Activity Fund, to participate in the USPS Operation Santa and buy gifts for others.
What is Operation Santa?
According to the US Postal Service "Each year, hundreds of thousands of letters sent to Santa from children and families arrive at Post Offices around the country." These letters include requests ranging from toys and games to basic necessities and help for their loved ones.
DMCers replied to letters and purchased gifts for USPS Operation Santa
Anyone can write a letter to Santa. They are published by the USPS (without personally identifiable information) for the public to decide which ones they want to adopt. After creating an account, individuals and organizations can adopt these letters and send responses and gifts in Santa’s place.
DMC created an Operation Santa team account and any employee who wanted to participate could join. We adopted several letters—they were going fast—and shared them in a Slack channel. Then, participants volunteered to send a response and gift to each letter. Our team adopted eight letters and sent gifts to fourteen people!
Some letters mentioned multiple family members in need. To maximize our give, a DMC participant volunteered to respond to every family member mentioned in the letter. We used the DMC Activity Fund to purchase gifts that the letter writers had requested from Santa.
Everyone who participated had a great time reviewing the letters and sharing the gifts we made and purchased. It was a wonderful way to connect with colleagues while giving back to the community. Once the gifts were wrapped, each participant printed a QR code to bring to the post office. This notified the USPS of the recipient's shipping information while keeping it secure.
According to the USPS, there were 23,860 letters adopted this season!
Christina Keefe of DMC Boston said, "During this unusual holiday season, participating in Operation Santa with DMC gave me a chance to feel connected to a child through the light-hearted experience of picking out gifts for them! It was so meaningful to see the letters to Santa and read what the children were both in need and want of this season. It was a great, easy way to have a direct impact on families around the country."
Will Todd from the Chicago office had a similar experience. "This was my first time participating in Operation Santa. The process was a breeze, and allowed me to re-experience the excitement kids have around the holidays and how we, as a team, truly made a difference for these families."
We look forward to participating in Operation Santa in the future, and we hope that you had a wonderful holiday season!
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Banner image credit: USPS