"Operation Santa" has been in effect since 1912, when businesses, charities and individuals volunteered to answer letters to Santa and sometimes send gifts to the letter writers. Temporarily suspended to set up new rules to block registered sex offenders from participating (they always ruin things for everyone else), the organization is up and running again all over the country. The LA Times has a brief article on "Operation Santa" and how people in southern California are participating.
In a slightly different "Operation Santa," employees of Shaw Enterprises and Infrastructure banded together again this year to play Santa to local children. Plucking 25 children's names off the Angel Tree, the seven-member committee pooled $4000 to buy presents for those little ones, according to the Enterprise News. Employees at the firm get gift cards from Wal-Mart as safety incentives, and the SEI "elves" donated their cards to provide the funding, along with cash donations from managers and gift card donations from other individuals, for the shopping spree.
WTOC 11 out of Savannah, Ga., posted a story on one of Santa's special skills - American Sign Language. Signing St. Nick has been making stops all over the US, including this one to the students of Key and Dimon elementary schools. The hearing impaired children were thrilled with the visit from Santa and the chance to tell him what they wanted for Christmas.