If you’re looking to give back this holiday season, the United States Postal Service wants your help.
The Postal Service’s annual Operation Santa turns 111 years old this year, and for the very first time in the program’s history, the charitable event is starting before Black Friday.
Operation Santa is a yearly tradition in which children, individuals and families write letters to “Santa” in hopes of having some wishes fulfilled that might otherwise go unanswered.
The Postal Service screens the letters across the country and makes the senders eligible to receive a gift from a willing and giving participant. The letters are being reviewed and posted online and people can sign up to “adopt” one of the letters and make those dreams come true.
Letters need to be sent to “Santa’s U.S. workshop,” 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888, with a legible and accurate return address to ensure senders are eligible to participate in the charitable event.
Those looking to give back can read the letters online now. If interested in signing up to adopt, volunteers can register and verify their identification with USPS to ensure that those who sign up to participate are legitimate.
Adopters can choose one or more letters to fulfill. Once chosen, they will be provided instructions on how to ship their gifts to their recipient.
And for the first time in the program’s history, participants can adopt a letter prior to Black Friday, allowing for shoppers to get quality discounts for their matched child or family.
While letters can be found online right now, those wanting to write in still have until Dec. 11; but time is of the essence.
The last day to sign up to give a gift is Dec. 18 — that’s also the latest date recommended for shipping gifts.
To save on shipping costs, the USPS recommends matching with a gift recipient near your location, and using a priority mail flat rate box which can be obtained for free at a local post office to make sure any gifts fit inside. Rates are dependent on an item’s weight, so shoppers should keep that in mind.
While you don’t need to use one of the priority flat rate boxes, you are required to ship your gift with Priority Mail status.
Gift cards will need to be shipped using a priority envelope.
The USPS also wants to remind the public that this is the only Operation Santa program sanctioned by the Postal Service.
For more information, click here.
Orange County child sex assault suspect remains at large
Police are searching for a sexual predator who allegedly assaulted a child in Santa Ana.
The suspect was identified as Nicolas Gonzalez, 39, by the Santa Ana Police Department.
Gonzalez is accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old child on the 500 block of North Mortimer Street.
When the victim’s family members spotted him, they confronted Gonzalez and scared him away. The suspect fled the scene before police could arrive.
There is an active warrant out for his arrest involving several child sex assault charges, authorities said.
Gonzalez is described as a Hispanic man standing 5 ft 3 inches tall and weighing 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. He remains at large.
Anyone who may have seen Gonzalez or knows of his whereabouts is asked to contact Santa Ana Police Detective Avila at 714-245-8379 or email AAvila@santa-ana.org.
L.A. chapter of ASPCA responds to discovery of dead longhorn at fraternity house in Oklahoma
The Los Angeles chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (spcaLA) is outraged over the “horrific” discovery of a dead longhorn in front of a fraternity house near the campus of Oklahoma State University.
According to KTLA sister station KFOR, the carcass was found in front of the FarmHouse Fraternity in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The words “F**k FH” were scrawled on the cow’s side.
A local police officer told KFOR that the longhorn appeared to have been dead for less than 24 hours upon its discovery, and it was unlikely that it was killed on off-campus fraternity house’s front lawn.
Tire tracks on the lawn indicate that a truck or truck and trailer dumped the steer there, KFOR reported.
SpcaLA officials released a statement condemning the “horrific and unsettling” discovery and called for a thorough investigation by local authorities, the Oklahoma State University’s Office of Student Support and Conduct and the National Interfraternity Council.
The dead longhorn does carry some significance, as OSU is set to take on the University of Texas (whose mascot is a longhorn steer) in Dallas on Saturday in the Big 12 championship, and some are speculating that the slaughtering of the steer is directly connected to the matchup.
“Regardless, if this is because of a football game, “Texas Hate Week,” or something more nefarious, this is a criminal act,” said Madeline Bernstein, spcaLA President. “This behavior cannot be brushed aside.”
KFOR obtained a statement from Oklahoma State University:
“Oklahoma State University is appalled at the disturbing display of animal cruelty that occurred overnight at an off-campus location near a fraternity house. The Stillwater Police Department is investigating the incident, and the university’s Office of Student Support and Conduct also has initiated an investigation.
Oklahoma State expects all students to adhere to university codes of conduct, and appropriate action will be taken based on the outcome of the investigation.”
Statement from Oklahoma State University
Where the animal came from and who put it there remains under investigation.
The Longhorns defeated Oklahoma State by a score of 49-21 on Saturday.
Homeowner reportedly shoots, kills suspect during home invasion
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating after a homeowner reportedly shot and killed a home invasion suspect.
LAPD officers were first called to a home in the 11400 block Swinton Avenue in Granada Hills around 5 a.m. Saturday morning on calls of a home invasion involving multiple armed suspects, preliminary information indicates.
During the course of the home invasion, the homeowner allegedly opened fire at the suspects, fatally striking one of them.
Video shows the male homeowner being detained by police during the initial investigation.
The deceased suspect has only been identified as a man, police told KTLA 5’s Carlos Herrera.
It is unknown whether the homeowner and the suspects were known to each other.
This is a developing story. Stay with KTLA for updates.
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