This event brings absolute joy to our students! Each primary student is able to pick out their very own toy. Students have also received books and handmade book buddies. I have students that talk about getting their picture taken with Santa 10 years later. Santa's helpers are organized and take time to make each child feel special. Thank you for making our students feel special
Paseo Hills School is very thankful for the opportunities to partner with Positive Network Alliance Inc. Our community appreciates the yearly visit and support in teaching our students about giving and the spirit of the holiday season. Having Santa come to Paseo Hills School has been a long standing tradition that we hope to continue!
Positive Network Alliance brought Santa Claus to our school this past December, and it brought SO much joy to our students. The quality of service was top-notch. Every child felt seen and valued, start to finish. All the volunteers were fully present and gave their absolute best. We couldn't be happier to have them!
Our school had been blessed to have this network working with our students and staff for the last three years! We are a title one school and our students often miss out on many opportunities due to things outside of their control. This Network selflessly supports students with a chance to enjoy the holiday season without adding any stress to their families.
What an amazing and heartwarming experience for our students and staff! Everyone involved were kind, giving, and created a warm environment for our students. I've never seen our more appreciative and truly happy! Every child was individually spoken to and heard. We are so grateful to have this experience each year and we only hope to have it continue!
Every year for the last 3 yrs I've worked with Patrick from the Positive Network Alliance Inc., he comes in and speaks with and gets photos taken with children their families; and every year he always goes above and beyond. Each family loves the experience and I do too. I absolutely love this organization and what they do for everyone.
Thank you to PNA and all of the volunteers who came to Arrowhead Elementary. The look on the student's faces when they saw Santa was priceless. The students were also very excited to receive a gift and a book to take home. Thank you for making the holidays extra special for our community. We really look forward to this every year.
We are so thankful at Constitution Elementary for Santa and Positive Network Alliance. We are a high poverty school and many of our students do not have the same holiday experiences that other children do. PNA provides a gift, book and an amazing SANTA experience with interactive games and props for our students. They love it and it is exciting to see the smile on our student's faces every year. Thank you PNA!
This is the 2nd year that we have hosted this group at our school (Arrowhead Elementary School in Glendale), and it is something that the students get very excited about! There are well-organized stations for the students to cycle through, which keeps them engaged and busy. Major kudos to "Santa"- very realistic, kind, patient, and I even got to witness a magical moment between him and a student of mine who has special needs... when she whispered what she wanted for Christmas in his ear (she is very difficult to understand), he pulled out his special Santa Claus wallet, and produced a specially made $1,000,000 bill, which he gifted to her. The resulting smile on her face did not fade for HOURS, and she clutched that gift in her little hands like her life depended on it! Thanks for bringing the holiday spirit and a sense of magic to our campus. We hope to see you again next year!
Patrick and his team are not only engaging and fun, but they are also professional and efficient. They have all the materials needed for 5 different exciting stations and set up is easy and done within an hour. Patrick is the perfect Santa and the kids loved his jolly spirit. We also got the best pictures taken by their amazing photographer, and we get printed copies. They ask for nearly nothing in return. This is one of our school's favorite events of the year!
Thank you so much!
Arrowhead Elementary Sponsor
Cactus Wren Elementary absolutely loves the Christmas production that this organization provides on our campus! Our students, staff members and family members look forward to this amazing event every year thus far! We are blessed beyond belief to have them provide such a wonderful gathering at our site! Thank you Santa & all of Positive Network Alliance Inc staff- you are all amazing:)
Julie Kent-Partridge MSW, Cactus Wren Elem School Social Worker
Constitution Elementary is so lucky to be able to work with the Positive Network Alliance each year. This organizations brings toys and books to all of our K-2 students at Christmas time. Santa always greets the students with joy and they get to have their picture taken with Santa. A lot of our students don't get the opportunities that students in higher socio-economic areas do. They just light up when they see Santa and all the toys and books they get to choose from.
When you spend time in the community and get to see the silent facilitators of humanity, you truly see what purpose of life is. Pat de Haan and the Positive Network Alliance are the Santa's that bring the spirit to children in our area....and remind us how much love brings to everyone when they help each other.
Best Santa around. Always puts the kids first and love to see those smiles. When I first helped out at a school a little kid was crying saying it was the 1st time ever meeting him. Brings tears to your eyes but he brings happiness to everyone's heart.
I loved helping Patrick. The most kind and awesome man I have come across. He truly loves to see the happy faces on kids.
I had the very good fortune to have had Positive Network Alliance as one of our community partners at Cactus Wren Elementary School in the Washington Elementary School District for several years when I was their Community Outreach Specialist. I retired from the district in May after 30 years of service. I knew that when December came around that I would want to volunteer when Pat and his crew came to Cactus Wren. I did ust that and it was an absolute wonderful day! This event is by far the most ego-enhancing experience for those students who participate! The smiles on the children’s faces are unforgettable! Pat de Haan is a tireless and selfless individual who has a heart for all children, especially those children who may have experienced trauma and have had challenges in their young lives. These events which Pat facilitates all over the state of Arizona must continue in 2019! I wholeheartedly endorse the continued work of the Positive Network Alliance!
We met Santa /Pat through the NextDoor app. We are neighbors and he offered to come visit my daughter who has cerebral palsy and a host of other challenges. Several months later, we were able to meet and as you can see by the photo, my daughter just loved him. I loved the way he spoke to and interacted with her. It’s very rare when we find some one who knows how to talk with a non-verbal child with cognitive difficulties. Santa gave her the best gift ever, a (mechanical) therapy kitty, which she adores! I just can’t say enough about this man or this non-profit.
Sunburst School has been blessed to be one Santa’s latest additions. Santa / Patrick took on Sunburst and has been a huge hit. Our students in primary grades love visiting with Santa and exploring his museum. His Christmas memorabilia allow students to experience bells, furs, costumes and more.
We consider ourselves quite lucky to have this experience for our kids. Many of our students have lives filled with dissapointments and to have the kindness of Santa is a beautiful , positive memory. We love Santa!
My brother in law unexpectedly passed away in the middle of November. He has a 4 year old daughter. Santa volunteered to take his raindeer and a toy to surprise visit my niece. He during the very busiest time of the year found time in his schedule to drive out of his way to go make a little girl and her mother. I’m so great full Santa was able to bring her a smile. Thank you Santa!
I've now known Santa Claus for nearly 10 years, seeing his dedication to the craft and children. When I was living away from my family for Christmas one year, he surprised my niece with a special visit and message for my niece. I'm forever grateful for that, but also in awe of what he's able to do each year. He travels all throughout Arizona to bring Christmas joy to countless children each year. Shoot, even when he's just out and about, he never turns down the opportunity to make someone smile.
Positive Network Alliance is an amazing organization that is dedicated to the spirit of Christmas and bringing joy to children everywhere.
I met Santa Patrick while teaching at ST Peter Indian Catholic School in Bapchule, AZ several years ago. He was entertaining and inspiring to the Native American children at the school. Each child was given a chance to visit with him, choose a gift and a book. Upon retiring I inquired about assisting him at other schools. I have been able to accompany him and his many volunteers to visit several schools in South Phoenix and Tempe. He continues to add to his visits but besides gifts and books, children also have the opportunity to learn about the North Pole, the life of the Arctic Circle and tundra. Children learn about reindeer, other animals and some artifacts like locks, telescopes, and navigation tools from years ago. They learn about them through stories about Santa, his elves and the animals of the Arctic region. Each class has the opportunity to visit "The Santa Museum" play dress up as a Santa, see reindeer antlers, and interact with locks, bells, and other navigation devices that are no longer used. Children get to experience historical artifacts and their uses as their great grandparents might have needed. Santa Patrick has searched out and organized this one of a kind museum that travels to all schools he visits.
This was my first year working with Pat and the Positive Network Alliance. I felt such joy participating in such a wonderful thing for underprivileged children. We went to a school that was being shut down due to problems with the building that were causing a health hazard for the children. Santa showed up and the smile on their faces and the joy in their hearts really tells the story. Seeing them create crafts, meet Santa, pick up a toy and a book - wow! What a difference it made in those children's lives. I filled my heart with joy.
This is a special organization. Patrick is amazing and the amount of time, energy and commitment he give is remarkable. Thank you Santa!
It was an absolute joy to see our students meet Santa and participate in sing-a-longs, see Santa's suits, select a toy from Santa's workshop and get a picture book. This event is highly anticipated and it was great to see the community supporting our school here at Laird. I am thrilled with the organization Positive Network Alliance and the fact that they came to our school! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
I believe this has been our seventh year of having Santa come to Cactus Wren. I am the principal of this school and we consider this day one of the best experiences of our whole school year. The joy of our students and the amazing efforts of all the business partnerships that make this endeavor possible, truly touches the hearts of our students, staff, and community. As you can see with the attached picture, Santa was given a big hug to convey how much it means to have this experience provided for our K-3 students.
I volunteered for the Garcia School Holiday Event with Santa. I can tell you it's so gratifying to see children's face light up when they see Santa, it's what the holidays are all about. Positive Network Alliance does an incredible job holding this event, offering hope and a fun day for students.
Positive Network Alliance Inc (PNA) served over 15,000 children and their families in 2018 (mostly in the month of December). Joy, hope, unconditional love, acceptance, and a very clear message of "you matter" is what PNA brings to each program. This is a "road show" of sorts.. with programs and activities packed up, transported and then unpacked and set up at each school and/or location. The result is magical and it is just as fulfilling and heartwarming to those giving and volunteering as it is for those who are receiving. What may be even more amazing is that not one person involved receives any type of compensation for their time. PNA is run 100% on donations and volunteers. This is what service above self is all about. I am proud to be a part of something so profoundly wonderful!
As a native of Arizona, I have had the privilege to familiarize myself with many NPO's in the valley and what they're about. When it comes to PNO (Positive Network Alliance) and their unfathomable contribution to our community, I cannot say enough amazing things about these incredible humans. They have opened my eyes to selflessness and changing lives everyday. Santa, (Patrick de Haan) and his team are unbelievable and transform the lives of children, veterans, homeless and just someone who may be in a bit of need. Experiencing their events first hand is amazing and puts you in the Christmas spirit regardless of the season and their giving doesn't stop. I am proud to be even slightly associated to their vast contribution and would encourage anyone out there to get involved and find out really why PNO is as amazing as it is! Thank you to Patrick and elves for all that you do.
I have been helping out Pat (Santa) for 8-10 years now. Loved going down South of Phoenix to the Indian Mission. Santa listened to the wishes of all the kids. They got their picture taken, picked out a present, and got to sing some Karaoke.
I have never seen such a person with so much dedication to Children, especially impoverished and special needs kids.
I have very little free time with my work schedule, but I always make time to help out at as many functions as I can. Pat is most appreciative of any help he can get. It is wonderful to see the kids faces light up when they see Santa. You can see the gears turning in their head when they look at the items on display in the "Santa museum". They ask "what is this? " . "How does this work?" . The Curator will show the kids how Santa's watch tells time "anywhere in the world", or what "black coal" looks like if they haven't gotten any yet.
Don't know how he does it, an undertaking this big should take a half dozen people full time. He does most of it himself.
We buy up lots of toys on Black Friday, post it on Facebook to try and get others to join in. Pat needs all the toys that we all can give him. 10 -12,000 kids a year is a lot of toys given out.
I was privileged enough to volunteer at an AASK holiday event in Dec 2017, with Positive Network Alliance and Patrick, and it showed me how much he is impacting the local community, especially in regards to children with disabilities or trauma. He has a very caring approach and engages all children, and allows them the opportunity to share with Santa. He brings puppets, costumes, and has a great Santa museum that truly can engage children that might not otherwise be able to engage with people. I was so happy I got this opportunity and the work he is doing is amazing!
Positive Network Alliance (PNA), lead by an incredible Santa (aka: Patrick de Haan) touched the lives of almost 12,000 children/families in 2017 alone. My first time volunteering was in 2013 through our rotary club - Tempe Rio Salado Rotary - at the AASK Christmas Party and I was instantly hooked. Providing the children and their families with visits with Santa, the Santa Claus Museum, Santa Costumes, puppets, and so much more is truly a gift. I've volunteered at this event each year since.
His Christmas Tree programs at impoverished schools are amazing. I have volunteered at Garcia School (98% Poverty rate) for two years now. The children are provided NEW toys of their choosing.. an overwhelming experience for many. They become fully engaged in the Santa Claus Museum, thank you letters to Santa, book fair, and of course.. pictures with Santa. The 'gifts' these children come away with are priceless.. feelings of importance (they matter), gift of choice, nurturing and compassionate 'elves' showering kids with love, and a truly Fun, Safe activity. It's a tug-at-your-heart-strings event, and even the teachers and staff are overwhelmed with emotion.
Of course, there's more.. including his visits with terminally ill children, and children whose parents have been injured or lost in the line of duty.
Raising toys for the entire Christmas season is sometimes daunting.. and requires educating others about PNA and all that they do. People are always amazed at the reach of such a small organization. How does one man (with lots of volunteers) reach that many children and families - yet no one seems to have heard of him? Patrick de Haan, and his vision that is PNA, is a gift to the children he serves, to their futures, and ultimately - to our community.
This organization is so incredible. I am thankful to Patrick and the many smiles he provides to hundreds of students each year as Santa, providing these young people with the joy of the season that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.
Not only does this man engage with so many young people in small & large groups, but he has a passion to take on one on ones with many that deeply tug at his heart. I can't even fathom how many kids have been given hope, love and appreciation by the many events that this man has accomplished. Kids need love, and this man's middle name should be love... I have helped many times in gathering toys for the events that occur throughout the year, and this man is relentless in his pursuit to increase his reach to more and more kids every year. The sacrifices he makes to ensure that these kids are recognized is just overwhelming. I am honored to help anytime I can..
The annual PNA Christmas Event at Laird was a hit again this year! This yearly event is something that the students, families, and school staff always look forward to. It begins with the first Santa sighting in the hall. The halls are filled with cheers and chants and it is always so heartwarming to see. From there, the students joyfully participate in rotations to the Santa museum, an arts and crafts table, a picture with Santa, and a station where they get to choose a book and toy. If not for the PNA, the sponsors, and the donors, this incredible event would not be possible. Thank you for creating another memorable day for our students!
Being my first year with the Tempe School District, I was not familiar with The Positive Network Alliance. I was so amazed at the support! My preschoolers were so excited when they saw Santa! They brought tears to my eyes, just watching them with Santa! I couldn't believe the amount of age appropriate toys they furnished. This is such a wonderful nonprofit organization!
This year the Positive Network Alliance provided a Santa Event during the holiday week at Laird School in Tempe Arizona. The Santa Event consisted of an opportunity to build a craft at "Santa's Workshop", get a small toy from Santa, and finally students were able to meet Santa. This event truly meant a lot to our Laird family. We can not thank the Positive Network Alliance enough for all the hard work they put into making this event a success for our community.
Santa day at Laird is one of my favorite days as a teacher. Seeing my students full of joy to see Santa come down the hallways always brings a tear to my eye. This program is like none I have ever seen before. The students love the different rotations they get to take part of like a craft, santa museum, even a visit with santa and the opportunity to choose any toy they want. I always love the pictures that the students take with santa, you see pure happiness on their faces and it is a nice keepsake for their parents who may not otherwise be able to afford santa pictures. This program will be something these children remember for a lifetime. I can not say enough good things about it!
I am lucky enough to work at a school that is impacted by PNA! The absolute joy our kids received was immeasurable. So many of our kids dread the holidays, as it can be a time for them to feel dismal about their lives. PNA has really changed the lives of our kids in ways that they will never know. I am so grateful to Positive Network Alliance for working tirelessly year after year to bring joy to Cactus Wren Elementary School in Phoenix. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Santa and his helpers chose my school with over 500 students that live in abject poverty in the inner-city of Phoenix, to bring the Christmas experience. In addition to a quality gift for evey child in grades K-4, they brought Santa (each child got a picture on Santa's lap), the Santa Claus Museum with over 40 items including such interesting things as Santa's goggles, his navigation tools and real Reign Deer antlers. There was also a letter writing station for thank you's and requests for Santa and Christmas Karoke. My teachers, staff and parents were literally moved to tears. Folks are still talking about and asking if they will be back next year.
Military Assistance Mission had Santa come to our Annual Holiday event for military families. Not only is he fabulous with the kids, the organization was easy to work with, on time, and obviously enjoy making kids smile. We have found our Santa and company that we will use for many years to come! Thank you Positive Network Alliance for making this wonderful event truly magical! The smiles on the kids faces were priceless!
Positive Network Alliance is simply amazing! Santa has one of the biggest hearts of anyone I've ever met. I've been volunteering with the organization for a couple years now and strongly believe in what the stand for. There are no words to describe the joy and the smiles they bring to the lives of children with what hey do. I will continue to support them in every way I can.
I have had the sincere pleasure of being involved with the PNA Christmas projects since their inception more than thirty years ago. During those years, I have volunteered for almost every position at their events and have served on their Board. I absolutely love PNA! The groups, children, and families PNA serves are wonderful and always appreciative of what we provide them. PNA’s philosophy of unconditional love and acceptance is the real Magic of Christmas, providing a safe, nurturing place where those attending feel welcome and are encouraged to develop their potential. I also like their emphasis on providing activities that allow children to be creative. AWESOME!
I also need to express how great it is to work with such a talented group of volunteers. These events take a lot of work over the course of a full year to produce, and every step along the way are enthusiastic volunteers eager to get involved with their time, expertise, and donations. It's an impressive support team that has developed over the decades and has continued to grow. AWESOME!
They came out to our school with a complete Santa experience including a Christmas museum with dozens of items that grabbed kids interest, Xmas Karioki, a picture with Santa , a place and stuff for writing letters to Santa and over 300 great presents. All this was done for the most grateful of inner city children living in abject poverty in the inner city of Phoenix. Santa and his helpers were amazing! What an awesome event for my students. Even parents and staff shared with me how it lifted their hearts. Thanks Pat, er Santa.
Positive Network Alliance is by far the most extraordinary nonprofit I have ever come across. I first learned about it at a rotary club meeting and met Santa for the first time. I volunteered for PNA the first year, about 3 or 4 years ago and couldn't believe my eyes of what they do for impoverished children throughout the valley and neighboring cities . PNA provides a gift that many children are not able to experience sometimes in their very own home. The joy on children's faces every year and year after still melts my heart! I still volunteer and will continue to volunteer. I just wish everyone could see what I see and also decide to join us. It is such a privilege and honor to join PNA and make a difference. If I could give it 10 stars I would, over and over again!! Thank you PNA for making such a huge impact in our community!
I have experienced Patrick's PNA Santa event as a member of the Laird School staff in Tempe, Arizona. It is AMAZING, and what I really like is that the families of students are included. This event is well-known in the Laird community. Patrick and his volunteers are easy to work with, cheerful, efficient, and they interact joyfully and respectfully with our students AND their families.
The Christmas event that is put on is absolutely amazing. Our students at Laird Elementary look forward to this every year. I've worked at over a dozen schools and I have never seen an event that creates such a "buzz" amongst students.
Cactus Wren Elementary School has had a community partnership with Patrick deHaan and the Positive Network Alliance for the last several years. I will never forget that very first year that "Santa" and his elves came. The Media Center had been transformed into a Winter Wonderland! It was absolutely magical! Each student had their picture taken with Santa. They also chose a gift, made a craft, sang holiday karaoke and were able to tour the Santa Claus museum. The smiles on the faces of the children was priceless! For many of our students, this was the first time they had ever gotten their picture taken with Santa. And as a Title 1 school, for many of the students, this may have been the only gift they received.
I can tell that this event is one the most ego-enhancing experiences that students participate in all year! And it has been a true blessing to have have Pat and his elves return each year. Pat is a wonderful man with a huge heart for children. He and his collaborative partners continue to work tirelessly to promote positive well-being in children all over the state of Arizona. Thank you!
I am blessed to work in a field that serves children on a daily basis. Positive Network Alliance has touched the lives of thousand of children, families, and professional that work with them. The joy I have received over the many years they have served my community is immeasurable and the memories will last a lifetime.
Positive Network Alliance (PNA) is extremely effective at leveraging donations with volunteers' efforts to reach the maximum number of at risk youth. It started with Santa (Patrick de Haan) creating the Homeless Christmas Tree in central Phoenix. Children played games, put ornaments on a living tree with the help of bucket lift from the local electricity company, picked and wrapped gifts for family members, had live entertainment, were fed a meal, then met Santa & received their gift. Everything was set up to enrich the children beyond getting a gift. Arizona's Governor usually attended the event each year.
Seeing much more need than could be met with a one day event, Santa reached out to individuals & corporations for support to create the event in a large retail space for whole month of December. Instead of benefiting only 900 children, this event was available to reach up to 25,000 children. Santa researched the 25 lowest income elementary schools, then offered this event to the Principals. Every Principal jumped at the chance for their children to participate in such a positive event. On the weekends, were for families of military, police, or fire department.
Santa added The University of Tomorrow where every student receives an 'I Can Graduate' diploma. North Pole Post Office where they write & mail their letters to Santa. The Wheel of Positive Attitude has each student spin the wheel and the group shouts the students name & that he/she is whatever the positive attribute is. The Wall of Dreams has each student draw or write their dream on a CD which is attached to the wall. In the past, Phoenix Art Museum has then displayed the Wall of Dreams in its gallery.
As school budgets became so tight that the schools could not afford to bus the children to the event, Santa made the event mobile setting it up in a different school each day of December. Local businesses and high schools gladly volunteer the huge amount of labor needed to set up & re-pack the now portable event. It is remarkable how this understanding of the need coupled with grass roots efforts has become such a large event.
My first year as principal at Laird School teachers shared with me that the event at Christmas for the students and families was amazing. Over the past 25 years I have seen and actively participated in many charitable events during my career so I figured it would be similar. WOW! Was I wrong! What Patrick and his elves do for the students and families of Laird is like NOTHING I have ever witnessed. The day of the visit to school our library is transformed into Santa's workshop and the rest of the school becomes Winter Wonderland. Our young children are welcomed into Santa's workshop to choose a wrapped gifts and a professional color photo with Santa. Throughout the building there are students caroling, making ornaments and playing games.
On Saturday at 6:00 am an 18 wheeler, full of food, pulls up to our school . Families in the community are lined up by 7:00am to receive their food boxes. Because of what Patrick is able to do for this community, they have food for the holidays.
I welcome and invite you to come experience this amazing two days for yourself.
This nonprofit is amazing. They give children who would otherwise not have a Merry Christmas and experience the joy of giving a beautiful experience. The look on the children's faces is priceless. It's so humbling to see them ask if they can give a gift to their mom or a sibling. The gifts are top quality and you can tell that a lot of thought and love goes into this nonprofit. Positive Network Alliance deserves a lot of credit for their generosity. I enjoy it as much as my students. God Bless You
For nearly 2 decades I have been a professional magic entertainer and I have worked with many different charity organizations over the years. My favorite charity to work with is Positive Network Alliance, and this is why I am proud to serve on the Board of Directors.
PNA provides a holiday experience for thousands of valley children who would not normally get to experience Christmas or in many cases even receive a gift. In addition to meeting Santa, and receiving a special Christmas gift, the children get to participate in many different activities designed to help them grow and see past the struggles that they deal with on a daily basis. To me this is real magic!
They are amazing!!! Wonderful to work with and a great community partner!! Love them and all they do!
PNA's Christmas project at our school is phenomenal!! I am a teacher at Laird Elementry in Tempe, AZ. The kids in grades K-3 get a toy, a pic with Santa, do an art project, sing Christmas karaoke and visit the Santa Museum. The kids, parents and teachers love this event. It is well run and looked forward to every year. PNA is an exceptional non-profit.
Our company ties Merchants to Non-Profit Charities through business funding solutions. We are in contact with many Non-Profit Charitable Organizations on a daily basis. All seeming to have one thing in common, sharing a single source desired intent, helping others in times of need and crisis!
Having had the opportunity to meet with Santa, stating that his organizations desire is heartfelt, would only scratch the surface of his commitment to the betterment of others through tireless works and deeds. His willingness to assist others in learning what charity is and how the end result is achieved, is accomplished in a manner that should be used as a standard in the Non-Profit Charity rule book.
Touching the lives of our youth in such a positive manner today, will result in a better future for all to share. Who better than Pat de Hann? A teacher, a mentor, an example of the heart displaying what caring and giving truly means.
In the early 90's I first learned about the Positive Network Alliance when they were working with a small chapter of the Lions Club. What an eye opener that first year was (of course, it still amazes me that it all gets done). With little money to speak of and very few people, the members and volunteers got their assignments - tiny bites of a huge project - the event was called The Governor's Homeless Christmas Tree. My little part of the event was to invite the Governor and get licenses from the State of Arizona to use the Wesley Bolen Plaza across from the State Capitol building - that was all I had to do - tiny pieces.
Volunteers scurried to get their assignments completed. Money came from . . . somewhere, so did more volunteers. Christmas was nearing and toy donations were just not happening. The head of our project, Patrick Dehaan (Santa), went into high gear working and coordinating tirelessly as did the people he contacted for donations. Until the day of the event I wondered would there be transportation for the kids, were there vendors to lift the kids up to decorate the trees in the Plaza and on and on I wondered. How will it all happen?
On the day of the event it was like a miracle happened. The toys were piled high, enough for everybody. Santa waited with his elf helpers. Dignitaries arrived. AMAZING. It looked so easy. But, we all saw how much work it took to get it done. That did it for me. Their passion hooked me forever.
Some 20 plus years have sped by for me, even more years for others. Patrick teaches other organizations how PNA gets it all done. The event I volunteer on is now called The Christmas Tree Project. PNA has adapted to every problem thrown in it's path - people coming and going, location changes, school budget cuts for off campus projects, you name it they resolved it. Every year there are fresh faces helping. We now go to the kids at their schools. The event is ever changing and growing. Christmas pictures with Santa have been added - even family photos are offered all with beautiful painted backdrops; there's a collection of items for family food boxes and their distribution; we have a music program, there's huge inflated snowmen and reindeers (last year we even had a huge dinosaur named Kringlesaurus Rex, haha, the kids loved it). Just one facet of a wonderful network of folks. And every year I am grateful they let me come along. Yay, PNA.
This is an amazing group of dedicated people who help to make so many children's lives happy and enriched by allowing them to learn in a fun environment!
As a Board member, I'd like to offer a glimpse of what Positive Network Alliance looks like from an insider's perspective. Visualize, if you will, 24/7/365 planning of Christmas activities headquartered in a small office. Preparation for the events never stops. Planning never ceases. Volunteers and supporters are, for the most part, repeatedly involved year after year and new faces are actively recruited and assimilated into the team; generous folks and organizations willingly give whatever is needed for successful productions at each school, with a view to providing a wonderful experience for every child who attends. The experience is no less satisfying to those who assist. If anyone wants to get a real feel of the joy of participation and the Magic of Christmas, that can easily be arranged.
Patrick de Haan and his Positive Network Alliance staff have been providing a 'Santa & Helpers' experience for foster youth for many years. AASK is an agency which finds families and loving relationships for children in foster care, and hosts day-long holiday parties for these families in December. Positive Network Alliance volunteers the entire day, to ensure every foster child there has a photo, a gift, and an exciting experience.
I have attended PNA events for more than ten years. During that time period I have found them to be professional at all times, trustworthy with funds I have given them, and accountable with their finances. In every way they are what all 501C3 organizations should be.
Patrick de Haan truly encompasses the heart of Santa Claus. He and his team of elves have made such a difference to my students and our community at Ironwood Elementary School. For the past three years we've had the privilege of having Santa come to our town. On the day he arrives the school becomes a magical place where students are felt loved and nurtured as Santa takes time to greet and take a picture with each student taking a few moments to connect and make a difference to these kids. Next, students get to go and choose a gift. For some of these kids, this may be the only gift they receive this holiday season. I cannot even describe to you the look of joy that we see on every students face. Students then get to go and walk through the artifact museum filled with the history of Santa Claus and learn the generosity of how a giving heart can effect the lives of so many around you. Then they are off to go sing Christmas carols as they wait for everyone to finish. This system flows perfectly so our staff is happy, the kids are happy, and it's the best way to kick off our holiday season. Positive Network Alliance impacts our students and families creating a lasting experience. Families look forward to this event every year. We feel blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity come to our school every year.