The campaign is part of the U.S. Postal Service's 2003 Operation Santa. Broadway's participation in Operation Santa includes the distribution of some 25,000 North Pole-bound letters penned by disadvantaged children. The missives will be handed out in Broadway theatre lobbies by performers in various shows. Interested theatregoers are invited to take a letter. Each one includes the child's name and address. The hope is that audience as well as company members will take it upon themselves to make the tots' wishes come true.
Director Scott Ellis spearheaded Broadway's involvement in Operation Santa. After helping deliver gifts for the Postal Service in 2000, he was so moved by the impact of the program that he persuaded several Broadway shows to participate the following Christmas.
According to Ellis, 20,000 letters were handed out in 2001, and 30,000 last year, when the Broadway theatre owners and League of American Theatres and Producers got involved.