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.

Children in the Pasadena area can write letters to “Santa,” and a team of volunteers will read and record it. From there, toys are donated, collected and purchased to best meet the requests of each individual child. Children with greater needs will be given higher priority. 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!

Throughout November and December, more than 50 Santa teams will be coordinated from volunteers in the community and Jaycee members. On December 24, those groups of Santas, Mrs. Clauses and elves will hand deliver the collected toys to each child who wrote a letter.  Sign ups for those interested in volunteering as part of a Santa team or volunteering for more non-Santa roles (letter reading, toy sorting, etc.) are below.

This is our largest community project, requiring over a hundred volunteers and an extensive budget. This committee typically begins its planning in August. Interested in being part of the planning? Email [email protected].

Quick Links:

Write a Letter

Using the form below, submit your letter to Santa and get a visit on December 24! Please be home Tuesday, December 24 between 5pm and 9pm for toy delivery. If multiple children live at one address, please make a note below, or submit a separate letter. We will be accepting letters to Santa until December 10 via mail (details below) and December 22 via online submission.


Letters for 2019 are no long being accepted. Check back in 2020!

You can also send a hand-written letter to:

Santa Claus
474 W Walnut Street
Pasadena, CA 91103

Handwritten letters must be legibly written by the child in his or her own words. The letter must include the child’s name, age, and address. Download print letter template here.

Be a Santa

**NOTE: If you are filling out the form after December 23, please email [email protected] to confirm whether you can be added to a team.

Every year we send out roughly 60 Santa teams to fulfill the toy delivery. Each team is given their own route, commonly with between 5 and 10 homes to deliver toys to in the evening on Christmas Eve. Sign-in and costume check-out will occur in the morning, and the Santa teams will regroup in the late afternoon for a group meal and to receive instructions and head out on their routes! Interested in being part of a Santa team?

Be a (non-Santa) Volunteer

In addition to Santa volunteers we need other helpful hands to make this project successful. Volunteer opportunities are available December 22nd, 24th, and 26th to help with toys and Santa teams.

We also need help reading all the letters we receive! Bring a laptop or tablet and help us read every letter written to Santa.  Letters are read, recorded, and mapped for every child who writes to Santa. Letter readings will be held every Tuesday from December 3rd until December 17th, 2019, with occasional additional dates added. Additional details and sign up available at the link 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). Visit our Amazon Affiliate shop to purchase toys that are frequently requested.

We also offer toy barrels and gift tag garlands for you to have at your office or place of business. Toy barrels are a great way to collect bulk toy donations and give them to the project, while gift tag garlands allow people to claim individual children and purchase the toys they specifically requested. If you are interested in placing a toy barrel or gift tag garland at your place of business, please email [email protected] as soon as possible.

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 ([email protected]) or Venmo (@Jaycee-Treasurer).

We also have sponsorship opportunities available. Interested in sponsoring a child? A family? A neighborhood? A Santa team? Please contact [email protected].

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: