Santa’s Mailbag is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to the children of the world.
Our roots trace all the way back to 1879 to the very start of the Santa Letter tradition. Click here to see our Official Timeline.
Millions of children from around the world write Santa each year, all eager to tell about their lives and families as well as their hopes and dreams.
We assemble an all-volunteer force of “Mail Elves” to do the impossible. Write back. As the official address for Santa Claus – you can imagine how hard it is for us to keep up with demand. We try hard and put everything we have into the task of making the magical, the mystical, and the seemingly impossible – happen. We believe in Santa Claus.
Our various programs and initiatives are all geared to spreading the joy of Christmas far and wide.
To accomplish our ultimate goal of sending a real letter from Santa Claus to every child who would like one. We need YOUR help.
Santa’s Mailbag was started in 1954 by six air traffic controllers stationed at Eielson AFB, Alaska. Their purpose was to answer the Christmas letters sent to Santa by the children of service men and women stationed overseas. What prompted these six was the official establishment of North Pole, Alaska as a city. With an incorporated city came the North Pole Office and the infamous North Pole, AK postmark.
With the North Pole Post Mark in existence, children’s letters to Santa naturally started showing up during the Christmas season. Postal workers began answering some of the letters and soon middle school teachers picked up answerer the letters as a class project.
Santa’s Mailbag had expanded from the efforts of six people who answered 362 letters in 1954 to scores of adults and children answering hundreds of letters per week in the mid 60’s. The volume of letters to Santa steadily increased and in the late eighties was approaching 20,000 letters a year. This is amazing as major cities intercept letters to Santa and dead letter them routing them for disposal.
In the late 90’s the volume soared to 60,000 letters mainly thanks to new media attention about the “North Pole” address. For a decade or so postal employee Debbie Pailing was the heart and soul of finding organizations and interested groups to help answer letters. Due to failing health she passed the torch. In 2001 Santa’s Mailbag was almost destroyed. The terrorists of 9-11 continued into the holiday season by lacing postal drop boxes with anthrax. Schools couldn’t take the chance on exposure to anthrax and other organizations wouldn’t. Santa’s Mailbag was overflowing with no elves to answer letters.
A local Lions group, the Northern Lights Badger Lions, headed by the late Jerry Pearson and inspired by an Air Force vet Charlie Smith, assured children around the world that Santa’s Mailbag would continue to answers children’s letters to Santa. Downed with face masks, gloves and paper jump suits the Northern Lights Badger Lions answered over 5,000 letters that Christmas of 2011.
That year, Gabby Gaborik, a member of the North Lights Badger Lions, took over Santa’s Mailbag and undertook the project of expanding it from a community project into a public non-profit corporation. Since then, Santa’s Mailbag has been featured in magazines, newspaper articles local and national TV.
In 2009 Santa’s Mailbag, along with other service organizations answering letters to Santa, the United States Postal service were presented with an unbelievable situation. No one knows how many millions of children send a letter to Santa Claus, but not a one of them was going to get delivered. Problems had arisen with the Christmas letter program that the United States Post Office had started over 100 years ago, and a solution was necessary.
The United States Post Office was flooded with phone calls as Americans demanded to know why Santa Claus wasn’t going to receive their child’s letter. Santa’s Mailbag’s, Gabby Gaborik was interviewed by the national news stations for his idea on how to resolve the problem. A solution was found that worked for all. Santa’s official address was decreed by the dedication of the City of North Pole, Alaska:
Santa’s Mailbag, 1 Santa Claus Lane, North Pole, AK 99705-0001
Special thanks to Prof. Robert Prince, Caleb Yates, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and others involved with the production and making of “Letters to Santa” documentary.