Words can not say how wonderful Santa Dan and Santa Special Kinds Inc are to Camp I Am Special. From making sure one of our campers had Christmas, to donating much needed exercise equipment, to providing scholarship so many could attend camp, and making sure we had water fun when our pool was not in operation this summer, are just a few ways this nonprofit helped our non profit. The love Santa Special Kids shows to so many, to empower, provide inclusion, and overall support of disabilities makes this world a better place. Our camper parents beam with joy of having a picture taken with a Santa our campers feel comfortable posing for a picture. Many of our parents had never been able to have such a gift. To have a non profit bring cheer and good tidings all year is something special. Catholic Chartres Camp I Am Special is truly grateful for the support and gifts so we can provide our residential summer camp. Thank you for making sure Camp I Am Special is able to make our friends have a special camp week long experience.
You will not find another Santa more generous, kind hearted and caring than Santa Dan (and his wife). Everything they do, they do with love. They live this every day of their lives and the world is better because of them!
THE SANTA CAUSE
Knowing Santa Dan is seeing compassion for others, integrity, honesty, and a big heart. A little boy in Applebees was key to receiving a calling to not only be Santa, but taking it a step further and starting Santa’s Special Kids (SSK), a 100% non-profit organization helping children with special needs, such as Down syndrome, autism, and pediatric cancer, and their families. The long lines at Christmas to see Santa in malls were not appropriate for children with special needs, and it made Santa wonder how many children were not treated with TLC. As a result, Santa Dan stepped out and was determined to show children Santa’s true spirit, a heart of compassion, a friend and mentor to all believers.
Once Santa Dan pledged his time and funds to SSK, the dreams for the future began. Santa is a warrior for SSK’s success:
*Santa continues to develop good men and women into the SSK organization and Board of Directors (BOD).
*Santa Dan desires all volunteers in support of his program, so 100% of the donations go to help children with special needs. No one gets a salary within SSK; Santa also gives 100% of his donations as Santa to the SSK organization.
*Santa is part of a brotherhood that love to help support SSK as much as possible.
*Santa desires to help children with special needs and their families all year round, not just at Christmas.
-SSK helps support organizations such as Camp I Am Special, DSAJ, etc.
-SSK helps individual children with special needs with items not covered by insurance, but necessary, for positive living.
-SSK helps families of special needs children as necessary for happy living, such as unfortunate families who may not have a Christmas without SSKs help.
-SSK helps by donating their time as Santa and Mrs. Claus to organizations such as World Relief, Nemours, hospitals, etc.
*Santa Dan has purchased his own SSK mascot, a 1941 JAG out of his retirement money, that allows all children and families to know about SSK. This vehicle is key to spreading the word of SSK.
*Santa Dan dreams of having an SSK home (Christmas Zone) for children with special needs, where they can come and see Santa within their own time and abilities all year long. This is a place where children of all ages may come and talk with Santa, a mentor to all who believe, throughout the year.
As Mrs. Claus, I should have seen years ago that our destiny would include being there for all children and those that believe in the power of secret giving. Let’s help Santa’s dream to come true and make this the best most successful organization ever! There is no one with any more compassion or love for all children, including those with special needs! So please join us today to help children with special needs and their families. PLEASE join this very special Santa Cause today with giving of your time and/ or donations.
I have been a volunteer for several years with SSK. I can tell you first hand there is nothing more gratifying than seeing the smiles on the faces of these awesome kids as they interact with Santa Dan. If you are not familiar with SSK, due you're due diligence, and get involved. Everyone should share in the joy the kids experience.
Once you meet Santa Dan you see the genuine care and concern he feels for these wonderful children. Volunteer, donate, but most importantly share the happiness!
I love how this Santa lives his life demonstrating that Christmas and acts of kindness do not occur solely one time a year. This organization goes beyond what insurance benefits cover and the specific needs that medical programs cannot address: A child needing a special bike so that he/she can be outside to smell fresh air, sending special needs children to summer camp, raising funds so that children can have a pool suited to their specific needs, etc. SSK specializes in making dreams come true! Please share your time, talent, and/or treasure with this worthwhile organization!
A great way to share that loving and giving should NOT be a seasonal event. Who better than Santa to be that example and visible throughout the year giving back to children! This particular Santa said this nonprofit grew out of continued wishes from the children who sat on his lap. I love that he took action by identifying this need and then going the extra mile to see it through!!!!
Such a wonderful organization. Santa Dan and his crew work tirelessly to bring happiness to children with disabilities not just at Christmas - but all throughout the year. Thank you!!!
Yes, Virginia - there is a Santa Claus. No really - there truly is and his name is Santa Dan. We have known Santa for many years now and to our 12-year-old (who also has Down syndrome), he is the only Santa. He will even refuse to see anyone other than Santa Dan during the Christmas season.
I have always said that my son has a 6th sense about him when it comes to people. He seems to be able to tell within minutes if they are someone worth getting to know or someone he just doesn't care to spend his time with. But with Dan - his eyes light up at the sight of "his Tanta". He knows...there really is a Santa Claus.
Dan is a remarkable human who makes us believe. His kind and generous heart is unlike anyone I have ever met - and his love for children and adults with special needs as well as their families is what makes him so very special to us - and his enthusiasm is contagious. His organization, Santa's Special Kids was founded with one simple notion - to do something to enrich the lives of children with special needs and their families....not just at Christmas but year-round.
How can he be anything but the real thing?
Biggest hearts and loveliest couple of Claus's anyone could meet. Christmas is truly all-year for this Special and Genuine Santa.
Santa Dan and Mrs Claus, along with their many helpers, saw a need and filled it. They work tirelessly to help the children they serve.
I would like to invite everyone looking for a local Charity in the N.E.Florida that is a 501c3 please take a look at us
Santa's Special Kids I met Santa Dan and Denise Gallagher in 2016 and liked what they were all about in helping Children with Special Needs. No one on theBoard or Volunteer's get paid, unless you want to count the hugs and Love we get from the Children and there Families.
So please visit www.santasspecialkids.com and learn what we are all about.
Hoping you will find it in your heart to Donate or Spinser what we do.
Danny Herold, Sr
Santa's Special Kids helped us organize our Santa's for the Enchanted Christmas Village last year. We were able to support over 11 non-profit organizations/charities and sent 9 kids on mission trips for their churches through our donations. We could not have done this without the support of Santa's Special Kids, Inc. Santa Dan also assisted us in doing the first ever "children's with disability night" at the Village. Children with disabilities were admitted into the park free of charge! This organization has a true heart for special needs children and their families. Santa Dan is a true hero!
While building Jacksonville's new Enchanted Christmas Village annual event, we set out looking for a Santa, and that is how we found Santa Dan. After meeting with Dan, I was moved and so touched by his warmth and genuine interest in Jacksonville's children and how he could play a role in bringing joy into their lives.
There is a lot of responsibility and trust that comes with playing the role of Santa to our kids. Instantly we knew his interests aligned with ours, and we trusted him with providing an excellent, joy filled experience with Santa for the children coming to visit Santa at the ECV.
Working with Dan was a joy in itself, he always had ideas to benefit the kids, and he even worked for free. This man authentically cares about and loves all children, and brings hope into their lives - especially children with special needs.
Santa Dan and Santa's Special Kids are a bright light in Jacksonville, and knowing they are serving Jacksonville brings a sense of safety and family nurture not only to our current residents but also to future residents as well. One of SSK's main focuses is to be a lighthouse of hospitality and information to families with children of special needs. Not only does this fulfill a sometimes overlooked but very real need of these families, it rolls out the welcome mat for these families looking to relocate to our city, adding to the value of Jacksonville and the quality of life here. Thank you Dan for all you do, and for being such a bright light in the sometimes dark and scary waters that envelop children with special needs and their families.
I was Santa last year for St. Jhns county Special needs Kids and going to do it again this year it was a blessing
I am very careful about which charities I donate to and support. Many charities have a high overhead cost and only a small amount of donations actually reach those the charity pledged to support. Most donations to other large charities goes to support research which is needed, but the families of special needs children have many, many "out of pocket" costs such as travel and diet expenses, therapy services and medication co-pays that are not covered by insurances, Every single cent raised by "Santa's Special Kids" goes to help our children with special needs including those with pediatric cancer, autism and Down syndrome. I am very proud and honored to be a part of this wonderful charity.
Awesome, local nonprofit in the Jacksonville area. Works a lot with Camp I am Special and is currently raising funds to provide aquatic therapies for kids with special needs at camp!
Santa Dan and his team of volunteers are some of the most dedicated and caring around. The special care and detail Santa Dan gives to each person he meets is the spirit of Christmas all year around.
Our Campers at Camp I Am Special are blessed by Santas Special Kids.
Santa Dan has been a friend for many years and has been our hospital Santa many times. He has made many children happy and is the real deal for them. We love him for his dedication to children and especiAlly those with special needs.
Personal friend many years, shared a mentor role with Santa Dan, proud to have watched him grow as Santa and even prouder of the work he is fostering for our special children. Look forward to future hands on participation in some of Santa's Special Kids projects. I served 8 years as the volunteer Chairman West Central Florida Shriners Hospital Services, among several other volunteer positions in support of our special children.
We've known Santa Dan for a few years now. His love for children and passion and commitment to helping others is truly unsurpassed! I've seen this non-profit grow from words on a page to putting love into action through the work they do. It's a very worthwhile organization