Letters from Santas: October 2016

Do you know what keeps Santas Anonymous busy throughout the year? Follow our “Letters from Santas” series to learn more about the people at the heart of Santas Anonymous, and why we love what we do.

October’s guest writer

Dan Deringer with his grandson, Joshua

Dan with his grandson, Joshua

Dan Deringer is a past president and current member of our board of directors, and he’s a man who leads by example. You’ll find him everywhere you find Santas Anonymous, and you’ll rarely see him standing still. Whether it’s organizing a group of volunteers, picking up supplies, or setting up a bouncy castle, Dan is always ready to do lend a hand.

In 2016, Dan has once again volunteered to manage our Christmas Hamper program, directing the huge team that makes everything happen in our workshop and warehouse. It’s a full-time job, and we’re grateful for the energy, passion, and warm smiles that he brings with him every day!

In this month’s Letter from Santas, Dan talks about the effort that goes into preparing for another busy holiday season at Santas Anonymous.

It’s October, and Christmas is two short months away. But at a time when many in our community are thinking of Thanksgiving and Halloween, a dedicated team of volunteers is already hard at work preparing to deliver Christmas Hampers to families in need.

Our team leaders are meeting to discuss lessons learned from the past year and strategize for the upcoming season, while our workshop is preparing to receive and process hamper applications.

Over the next month, we’ll stock our shelves with all of the supplies necessary to wrap gifts, schedule drivers to pick up gifts from our Tree of Wishes mall locations, set up the database that enables us to account for every toy or gift that we receive from generous donors, and train the new and returning volunteers who keep the workshop running at full speed. These volunteers contribute throughout the process, from the moment we talk to a parent about their application to the quality-control check we do on every hamper, making sure every gift a child receives is exactly as Santa has requested.

We’re out looking for the best prices on groceries, and preparing our warehouse to accept, store, and distribute hundreds of hampers. And while all of that’s going on, we’re lining up the many more volunteers who serve as the face of Santas Anonymous in local shopping malls, and training them so that they can answer any questions our donors ask.

We’re talking to people who want to fundraise on behalf of Santas Anonymous, preparing for our own events such as CFAX 1070’s Miracle on Broad Street and KOOL FM’s Wish Day, and planning a spectacular float for the Santa’s Lights Christmas parade. And let us not overlook Santa Bear—the hardest working Bear west of the Rockies and south of the North Pole—who has hardly had any time to hibernate through a busy summer.

I’m only scratching the surface of the numerous working parts that come together to deliver the Christmas Hamper program every year—a program that has benefited from the talents and dedication of thousands of volunteers over nearly four decades. These volunteers are your friends, your family, and your neighbors.

Together, we’ll do our best to provide a memorable Christmas for hundreds of families in our community, ensuring that their children enjoy the same spirit of Christmas that so many of us take for granted.

If you’re in a position to volunteer or donate this year, and the spirit of Christmas tugs at your heart strings, consider making our family your family. Help us bring a smile to a child’s face and a tear to a parent’s eye.

And if you’re a parent in need of assistance, don’t hesitate to send us your hamper application. You’re never alone, because everyone at Santas Anonymous is here to help.

Dan Deringer
Christmas Hamper Program Manager


Contact us to discuss how you can help this Christmas, or to a share a story of how CFAX Santas Anonymous Society made a difference in your life.

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