Northwest Santas With a Cause Campaign Helps Children Devastated by Hurricanes
Nov. 16, 2017
Northwest Santas With a Clause – uh – Cause: Campaign will help children devastated by hurricanes Irma and Harvey
SEATTLE, Wash. – While the news spotlight is no longer shining on Texas and Florida, thousands of families are still struggling to recover from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. People tend to underestimate how long it takes to snap back after a major disaster. And among those who lost most everything are children, who have often lost not only their homes and belongings but have also been uprooted from their schools, neighborhoods, friends and other important touchstones.
One Santa organization in Washington state is trying to help those childrenNorth Pacific Santas (NORPAC SANTAS), an organization of some 50 Santas, Mrs. Santas, elves and grinches, has launched “NORPAC SANTAS With a Cause,” a GoFundMe campaign that will help bring toys to children whose families were hard-hit by this summer’s hurricane“In thinking over the many recent disasters and how to help, Santa realized he had a special role to fill this year, and we are thrilled about this opportunity to give him a hand,” said Santa Trever Waltos, co-chair of NORPAC. “It makes him sad that so many children have lost so much.”
The NORPAC SANTAS With a Cause Campaign formally began Nov. 3-4 at the organization’s 8th annual Northwest Santa Workshop. It continues through the end of November.
NORPAC dug deep into its stocking to donate the first $1,000 of the campaign. But everyone knows it takes a village – or in this case, a whole lot of elves – to pull off something this big, so NORPAC is counting on Santa’s helpers everywhere to dig into their own stockings.
Because Santa’s December to-do list is even longer than his beard, he’ll be scrapping his traditional sleigh-delivery system, Waltos said. Instead, NORPAC Santas is teaming with Texas’ Lone Star Santas (http://lonestarsantas.org/) and Florida’s Palm Tree Santas (www.palmtreesantas.com), who will purchase toys with the GoFundMe proceeds, then get them to children in areas hardest hit by the disasters. The three groups are all chapters of the International Brotherhood of Real Bearded Santas (IBRBS — visit them at https://www.ibrbsantas.org/).
In Texas, Lone Star Santas, which has pioneered the “Convoy of Toys,” a program that brings gifts to children in disaster areas, will use methods it has refined since beginning the program with toy aid to Joplin, Mo., after a tornado, to distribute toys in hard-hit areas.
“The gift of a toy personally delivered by Santa brings a sense of love, hope and comfort to children stressed by the long-term effects of disaster and also to their parents,” Waltos said. “I think this may be the first time chapters have teamed up on a large project like this. We hope it will lead to further joint efforts in support of children.”
Waltos said the group is well aware of the children of Puerto Rico and their needs, as well. But because it has no “boots on the ground” – a Santa group to work with – and because communication with the area is still difficult, NORPAC decided to limit its efforts.
To help NORPAC SANTAS reach its goal, go to www.gofundme.com/norpac-santas-with-a-cause Your gift is tax-deductible. For more information on the NORPAC SANTAS With a Cause Campaign, contact Waltos on his sleigh phone, (253) 732-1482, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact NORPAC Treasurer Dennis Gorley – sleigh phone (425) 471-4076; email@example.com.
NORPAC SANTAS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization of some 50 individuals from throughout the Northwest who portray Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, elves, reindeer, a grinch and Santa’s helpers with the object of spreading love, joy and the spirit of Christmas year-round. The group meets throughout the year for luncheons for fellowship and to share information and training that will help them become better and more professional entertainers. To learn more about the organization, visit NORPAC at www.norpac-santas.org (Facebook at www.facebook.com/NORPAC-Santasorg-Professional-Santa-Claus-Organization-302072029807953/ )
Trever Waltos, NORPAC SANTAS co-chair
Sleigh phone: (253) 732-1482
Deanna and Santa Bob Partlow
Workshop phone: (360) 539-7863
Sleigh phone: (360) 528-9025