Jefferson Valley Mall will hold a Caring Santa™ event this holiday season from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 2. Caring Santa is a special event dedicated to families who have children with special needs, providing a subdued environment to visit The Santa Photo Experience.
Presenting sponsors for the 2012 Simon Photo Experience include ABC Family, VISIT FLORIDA, Gymboree and ScentSicles.
Caring Santa has been developed by Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG), the world’s leading retail real estate company, and is guided by AbilityPath.org, a national online resource hub and special-needs community.
Many steps are taken to reduce sensory triggers, creating a more comforting environment for the children’s magical visit with Santa. This environment is likely to include:
- Turning off in-mall music and dimming the center's lights for the duration of the event.
- Eliminating queue lines through the use of a numbering system, whereby guests approach the set when their number is called.
- Special activities and stories geared toward the needs of the child during the “wait” period to help the child understand what activities will occur during the visit.
This will be the second year for the Caring Santa program at many Simon malls. “Last year, we saw families who received a Santa photo with their child for the very first time,” said Sheryl Young, CEO of AbilityPath.org. “We are fortunate to have terrific alliances with Simon and their photo operators who have worked with us to lessen potential triggers, like having the event occur during private mall hours and other slight adjustments that help provide a calmer, sensory-friendly environment for all children to enjoy.”
“We are thrilled to be the venue for this incredible event,” said Lauren Penchina, director of marketing and business development for Jefferson Valley Mall. “The Caring Santa program brings a lot of joy to children with special needs and to see that happen at our mall is truly an honor.”
Participants are encouraged to RSVP for the Caring Santa event at Jefferson Valley Mall by going to www.AbilityPath.org.