Santas wanted for North Pole calling program |

Santas wanted for North Pole calling program

by Caryn Haller

For more than 20 years volunteers have been giving two hours of their time to bring the spirit of Christmas alive for Valley children.

Male volunteers are being sought for Douglas County Parks & Recreation’s North Pole calling program 4:30-6:30 p.m. Dec. 8.

“It’s an amazing program. It helps make the holidays real for the kids, since a lot of little kids still believe,” said Amanda Reid, recreation specialist. “It’s a wonderful way to relive the childhood magic of the holidays and jumpstart the season.”

Registration forms for parents to sign up their children are available at the Parks & Recreation Department at 1327 Waterloo Lane, Gardnerville. Forms must be returned by Dec. 7.

Last year, Santas called 120 children. Reid said she is needing at least 10 Santa callers this year.

“The Santas just need to know how to be jolly and happy,” she said. “We supply conversation ideas, reindeer names and bells to ring in the background.”

A typical call lasts about two minutes, and Santas will be provided with the names of siblings, pets or anything else parents want Santa to mention.

“We won’t say exactly what Santa is going to bring for Christmas,” Reid said.

Scott Shick, chief probation officer, has been volunteering as a Santa caller for 10 years. He said the interaction with the kids on the phone as Santa is special to him.

“It’s part of contributing to the community and the children in the community, and encouraging kids to work hard and be good in their families,” he said. “It’s been a great tradition.”

One call that stands out in his mind was to a young girl who was more concerned about Santa calling her two younger siblings that were living at another house.

“She was so selfless. It kind of brought a tear to my eye,” Shick said. “What was cool about it was the compassion and heart of the little girl.”

Although the younger siblings were not signed up to receive a call, Shick said he was able to find their phone number and call them.

“It’s all about merry Christmas,” he said.

Santa’s headquarters will be at the Juvenile Probation Office, 1625 8th Street, Minden and there will be plenty of Santa snacks on hand. For more information or to volunteer, call Amanda Reid at 783-6455.