Caring Santa Photo Sessions Welcome Children with Special Needs PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 12:54

Palo Alto, Calif. — Five U.S. cities will welcome the Caring Santas into their local malls beginning Nov. 20, allowing children with special needs to be welcomed into a photo environment designed to support their sensory, physical and developmental needs. 

The event is a result of a joint partnership between AbilityPath.org, a national online resource hub and special needs community, and The Noerr Programs, a leading marketing and digital imaging company providing the Santa Photo Experience at malls nationwide. 

The five Simon Property Group malls at which these sessions will take place are Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, Calif.; North East Mall near Fort Worth, Texas; Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass.; Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorne, Penn.; and Town Center at Cobb near Atlanta, Ga.

The Caring Santa event kicks off Sunday at 9 a.m. and continues until 11 a.m. local standard times at Burlington Mall and Stanford Shopping Center; and from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at North East Mall and Town Center at Cobb when each mall opens to the general public. Oxford Valley Mall’s Caring Santa event will be Dec. 4 from 9 a.m.to 11 a.m. Families are encouraged to RSVP prior to the event at www.abilitypath.org.
 
“Every family of children with special needs realizes that some environments can be overwhelming,” said Sheryl Young, chief executive officer of Community Gatepath who operates AbilityPath.org.

“With the help of The Noerr Programs and these participating malls, we are changing that. We have worked together to lessen the potential triggers. Having the event occur during private mall hours provides a calmer sensory-friendly environment. Implementing a number system allows children the opportunity to explore other things while they wait for their photo instead of waiting in lines, assuring children who might be sensitive to stimuli in a typical photo setting,” said Young.

“Caring Santa continues the spirit we started during Easter with the Caring Bunny,  fulfilling our dream of providing a comforting and physically accommodating experience for families with children who have special needs," said CEO Judy Noerr.  “We appreciate the cooperation of Simon Property Group agreeing to expand this program during the 2011 season to more malls, allowing more families to share the magic and tradition of the holidays."

The Noerr Programs can be found at www.noerrprograms.com.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 20 December 2011 13:01 )