Operation Santa

As the Pasadena Jaycees’ longest running project, Operation Santa has touched the lives of thousands of children since 1934. And it all starts with a letter.

In years past, letters were sent by children, toys were purchased and donated, and hundreds of volunteers, dressed for the occasion as Santas, Mrs. Clause, and elves delivered thousands of toys on Christmas Eve.

This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Operation Santa will look a little different, but it will still impact hundreds of children throughout the greater Pasadena area! Our biggest concern is the safety and well-being of both the families we’re giving toys to and the volunteers helping make this possible. We are changing our distribution method from hand delivering toys to children’s homes to a contactless pick-up option.

Children in the Pasadena area can still write letters to Santa (please submit via the form below), and they will be able to come to the Scottish Rite (150 N Madison Ave, Pasadena, CA) at their allotted time for a contactless toy pick-up in their cars from Santa and his elves in a decorated magical wonderland. And we still need help from volunteers in the community (sign up below)!

While Operation Santa was originally rooted in the Christmas holiday, children from all backgrounds and religions are encouraged to write letters to celebrate the season. Do you or someone you know want a visit from Santa over the holidays? Or do you know someone in your community who could use a little extra support at Christmastime? Details about writing letters to Santa below!

** We are closely monitoring city, county and state COVID protocols and will adjust the project as needed to fit recommended safety guidelines.**

Quick Links:

Write a Letter to Santa

**We are no longer accepting letters for Operation Santa 2020.**

If you would like a gift from Santa this year, please fill out the form below with your letter and when/where you would like to pick up your toys! If you have any questions, please email [email protected] You can pick up your gift at Scottish Rite (150 N Madison Ave, Pasadena, CA) between December 19 and December 21! You must pickup your gift in a vehicle and must stay in the car for the pickup process. We will be accepting letters to Santa until December 16. Due to Covid-19, we request that all letters be submitted online rather than mailed.

A Spanish version of the form will be live later this week.



This year, due to Covid-19, we will not have Santa teams delivering toys. However, we will need help managing letters, sorting toys, distributing toys, and more! We will have front-facing and behind the scenes volunteer opportunities, so you can participate in whatever way makes you most comfortable. Additional details and sign up is below.

**NOTE: If you are a student, and you would like to volunteer, please check out our opportunities here instead of using the form below.**

Donate Toys.

Want to donate toys to Operation Santa? You are welcome to purchase the toys of your choosing and drop them off at our office (please email [email protected] to coordinate a drop off), but in order to meet the requests of the children we are serving, we encourage you to visit our Amazon Affiliate shop or Amazon wishlist.

You can also purchase toys that have been specifically requested by having us send you gift tags. This allows people to claim individual children and purchase the toys they specifically requested. If you are interested in having gift tags sent to you, please email [email protected] as soon as possible.

*Please note that we will not give out any toy guns or other toy weapons.

We ask that all toy donations be dropped off by December 16.

Donate Money.

In order to serve the largest number of children, we always need monetary support. You can donate to our non-profit organization (Pasadena Jaycees Foundation) via check, cash, PayPal or Venmo (@Jaycee-Treasurer).

We also have sponsorship opportunities available. Interested in sponsoring a child? A family? A location? Please contact opsanta@pasadenajaycees.org.

Spread the Word.

Want to help us get out the word about Operation Santa? Below are links to various outreach materials you are free to use: