Since its inception in 1995, the Sheriff’s Santa Claus Project has expanded beyond Kaiser Hospitals to include the Angel Tree Project, W.E.A.V.E., Love Them Both, and My Sister’s House. In 2011, the Santa Claus Project delivered gifts/stockings to over 252 children and 54 adults.
Santa Mike visits the homes of families with children diagnosed with a terminal illness and families with special needs, as determined by the staff of Kaiser Hospital and the Sheriff’s Department’s Child Abuse Bureau. Kaiser recognized that Santa’s hospital visits had such a positive impact on the children that it was important for Santa to visit these terminally ill children in their homes. Santa Mike graciously took on this task, with the support of the Sheriff’s Department and Kaiser Hospitals, and relying on his own resources and donations from the Sheriff’s Department and County employees, local businesses and the Sacramento community.
The Sheriff’s Santa Claus Project operates on a year-round basis. However, the project does something extra special for local families with children receiving oncology treatments during the Christmas season. Santa and his elves personally visit with every child they encounter at Kaiser Hospital. They deliver stockings stuffed full of goodies during the week of Christmas and Santa visits emergency rooms and other areas of the hospital where children are admitted.
Sheriff’s Deputies use donated funds to purchase gifts from local stores and gather toys donated by the Sheriff’s Toy Project. All gifts are wrapped then placed into hand-made Christmas stockings by the Sheriff’s Toy Project.
During the holiday season, Santa Mike delivers toys, clothing, and Christmas stockings to these local families. He is accompanied by Mrs. Claus, several elves, and many Sheriff’s Deputies as they deliver special “wish list” items. In each home they take photographs for the family with Santa and his elves.
Santa and his elves have been delivering gifts since December 1, 2012, and will be finishing December 31, 2012. For more information about, or to make a donation to, the Sheriff’s Santa Claus Project, please contact project coordinator Detective Michael Wright at (916) 874-5848 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.