December, 2015: Santa took a breather today as four local companies purchased gifts from individual wish lists for Special Kids Special Families program participants for an afternoon holiday party. NuStar Energy, WOW! Cable, Hope Montessori Academy and Newman University all intercepted those letters to Santa, purchasing and wrapping gifts for each, including children with physical, emotional and intellectual disabilities from Zach’s Place; adults with disabilities who participate in day programs at the adult services program and kids in foster care placements through the organization’s agency.
NuStar Energy helped to coordinate the party at the local IBEW building in Colorado Springs and had one of their own play Santa passing out the wrapped gifts to children and adults amazed that Santa could call them each by name delivering just what they asked for.
Longtime Special Kids Special Families supporter and NuStar leadership staff John Butts remarked, “While we support Special Kids Special Families all year long, we all take a special pleasure in being part of this holiday tradition. The look on everyone’s faces when they open up a present that is just what they asked for makes it a special day for us as well.”
Special Kids Special Families supports people with disabilities through several programs with an emphasis on respite care. “The ability for care givers of people with disabilities to get a break to do even the most ordinary things such as run errands, take a moment to themselves, or spend time with other children or a spouse can sometimes be the difference between keeping a family strong and together or seeking out of home placement,” said Linda Ellegard Executive Director of Special Kids Special Families.
Staff from all three companies were on hand to help Santa distribute the gifts today. The Special Kids Special Families staff members put together the holiday meal for participants, caregivers and company members to enjoy.
About Special Kids Special Families (SKSF): a non-profit umbrella organization with several unique programs designed to support people with disabilities of all ages from early childhood through adult as well as their families and caregivers.
SKSF offers three main programs including:
- The Child and Family Services Program that encompasses Zach’s Place, which is the only licensed child care facility in the Pikes Peak Region with the focus and training to provide day care and respite services to children with disabilities;
- Adult Services offering day programs and Host Home opportunities for adults; and
- SKSF Child Placement Agency considered a “go-to” agency for foster and adoption placement for children with disabilities.
For more information about SKSF, call 719/447-8983 or visit SKSFcolorado.org.