"I Believe"

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Santa Claus Museum
City & State:
Santa Claus, 
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Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

The Mission of Santa’s Elves and Santa Claus Museum is to preserve, interpret, and exhibit the cultural and natural history of the town of Santa Claus, IN and to perpetuate the tradition of Santa’s Elves, Inc answering letters to Santa.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

“I Believe!” Santa Claus does exist, not only to children throughout the world, but to the people in our town, Santa Claus, Indiana. Many have been proud to call this town home since 1856. Although our town may not be the biggest place on the map, we do make an impact! The town is home to the oldest theme park in the world, Holiday World, which started out as, you guessed it, Santa Claus Land! There are plenty of other activities in town to keep a family busy, but that is not why I’m writing.


The town of Santa Claus has long since had a tradition that still carries on today. For nearly a century the people of the town have been answering children’s letters to Santa. It all started with our 14th Postmaster James Martin when he took it upon himself to start answering the letters. The Postmasters following him continued and even Santa himself joined in. Santa Jim Yellig was our long time and beloved Santa for over 50 years in the community as well as an icon to the Santa world even today. The American Legion got involved and in 1976. A non-profit group called “Santa’s Elves” was formed to organize the yearly event. In 2006 “Santa’s Elves” became “Santa’s Elves and Santa Claus Museum, Inc.” when the Santa Claus Museum first opened. Now each year we at the Museum organize the event and gather volunteers to carry out the yearly mission to put smiles on children’s faces. Usually around 10,000 letters a year from around the world are answered free of charge. Last year the Museum’s volunteers answered over 35,600 letters. Although many places charge for a letter from Santa, we still offer the same result free of charge. Why should a child have to pay to hear from Santa?


The Santa Claus Museum is a non-profit organization and a free attraction for guests. Donations are greatly appreciated but are not required to enter. The Museum provides the history of the unique town of Santa Claus, Ind. On display in the Museum guests will find a collection of letters to Santa from throughout the years and dating back to as early as the 1930’s. Children can write their own letters to Santa while they visit. The Museum also has many artifacts from Santa Claus Land as well as a Santa collection for all the Santa fanatics out there to see.


We use Microsoft programs for a variety of projects! Microsoft programs help us with labeling artifacts and displays and making various signs needed throughout the Museum. Microsoft Excel helps us keep track of our daily and yearly sales as well as the number of guests that visit us. This knowledge let us know what kinds of items sell well and when. This information is invaluable when looking at new merchandise. The Microsoft programs also help us keep track of the information and support our wonderful Museum Members give for our cause. Microsoft Word lets us easily write the minutes from our Board meetings, and Outlook helps me to send out those minutes quickly and easily to the Board Members. Without the aid of TechSoup and Microsoft, we would not be able to accomplish as many daily and routine tasks we take for granted.


Since first opening our doors in 2006, the Santa Claus Museum has had significant growth each year. Our first year we had 7,778 guests visit. Last year, in 2008, we had 12,305 visitors come through our doors. Sales continue to increase, donations are growing, and membership is good. We will continue our town’s tradition of putting smiles on thousands of children’s faces at Christmas time as well as educating guests about our town’s unique history.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery