“From the beginning, helping sick children was always a top priority for us,” said Larry Hersberger, one of the co-founders of the company. “We realized early on that while Christmas was going to be tough on all children this year due to the ongoing pandemic, it was going to be even worse for kids in hospitals, which is why we’re donating 500 calls to help keep the Christmas spirit alive for them.”
These calls, which are referred to as Angel Calls, are private magical Santa Zoom visits that last a full 15 minutes. Each child is able to talk to Santa one-on-one (a parent or guardian must be present, however), as well as share what they want for Christmas and learn all the secrets of the North Pole. And because the Santas and Mrs. Claus’ who are involved in this initiative are some of the best in the world, parents can rest easy knowing that they know how to interact with sick children, since it’s something they’ve been doing for years.
“Our goal is to bring joy and hope to sick children so that they aren’t focusing on their illness or how strange things are this year,” added Ela Bednarek, the other co-founder of the company. “What a sick child gets from this type of visit is a boost of love, happiness and vision that only Santa can provide. This positive reinforcement and joy can help chart them on a completely new path mentally.”
Sick or not, every child benefits from feeling hope. And for sick children in life threatening circumstances, they not only want to feel hope, they need it.
Bednarek and Hersberger are currently working with Make-A-Wish® Southern Florida, as well as numerous hospitals and associations, to increase the number of families who will be able to take advantage of these Angel Calls. Incoming donations from individuals and corporate sponsorships will help defray some of the costs associated with expanding this program to include even more sick children this Christmas – and beyond.
“Our goal is to have Angel Calls available year-round, so that Santa and or Mrs. Claus can visit sick children on their birthdays, Easter, Christmas in July and very special occasions,” Hersberger stated. “We will have Santa on call for any and all reasons. So, for example, if a child is very sick and needs the security and love from the heart of Santa, we will be there to provide that joy and hope when it’s needed the most.”