Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Visit With Santa

After I retired from 30 years with American Airlines I did 6 seasons as Santa at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa.  Thousands of kids passed across Santa's knees.  It was fun.  Last Saturday I got to be Santa again for the annual Christmas party for kids in the New Hope Ministry.  

Judy and a few of the elves say thank you to Santa.

Some of you know that I have been part of the Kairos Prison Ministry for the past dozen years or so and am sensitive to the difficulties of families who have a parent in prison.  My friend Judy Gann is an Episcopal Deacon who heads the New Hope Ministry.  Their focus is on young children who have a parent who is incarcerated.  Statistically these kids have a high probability of incarceration later in life.  

Mrs Claus serves as photographer and all around Santa's helper.

New Hope started out  in about 1995 as a little summer camp staffed by Judy and a few volunteers for about a dozen children with a parent in prison.  The program grew to serve more kids with more activities.  Now New Hope serves children aged 5 through 17 by providing school-based and community-based after school programs; weekend retreats; holiday gatherings, monthly family social events and residential summer camps.

In December they enjoy a Christmas party with games, food, and a visit with Santa for over 100 children.  This was my 3rd year to do Santa for them and I can tell you that these kids are as sweet a bunch of youngsters as you could wish for. Merry Christmas!

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Sharon's Mum Anne said... [Reply to comment]

Now you're what Christmas is really all about. I guess you have as much fun as the children.

The Redneck Rosarian said... [Reply to comment]

Without a doubt, the finest Ruby Tuesday of the year!

Yogi♪♪♪ said... [Reply to comment]

Ministry takes many forms Bill. I think your Santa ministry is very cool.

:.tossan® said... [Reply to comment]

Photos impression and pleasant to deal with. Have a good Christmas and a good 2011.

DrillerAA09 said... [Reply to comment]

You make one of the best Santa's I've seen.
And yes your ministry is what Christmas is all about, giving of yourself so that others might have hope. Merry Christmas to you and yours.