Santa shortage: The Secret Sleigh Project needs more Kris Kringles

The Secret Sleigh Project needs additional Santa stand-ins as the Christmas seasons gets in full swing.

PHOENIX - Meeting Santa Claus is a classic holiday tradition for so many kids. Sadly, some kids don’t get to experience this joy because they can't leave home. The Secret Sleigh Project is changing that.

“If you have a child that has an acute medical need or a physical disability, contact us and we will find Santa for you," said Sarah Portillo, the founder of The Secret Sleigh Project.

Portillo started organizing at-home visits from Santa in 2015 because of her own daughter. 

“She had been in the hospital for about two months and I thought, 'How are we going to take her to see Santa?' I instantly had a vision of Santa visiting her at home,” said Portillo. 

After finding a Santa to visit her daughter, Portillo decided to start helping kids all around the country.

“This year we have more than 100 Santa's and more than 175 children,” said Portillo. 

More children than Santas means The Secret Sleigh Project needs more Kris Kringles. 

“Yes, we have a shortage of Santas and we want every child to be able to experience the joy of Christmas with a Santa visit,” said Portillo. 

If you are a perfect Santa or know of someone, apply by sending an email to secretsleigh@gmail.com. You will be required to provide a background check. 

“We then contact them and say 'We have a family for you,' and then they are able to contact the family and set up a visit on their schedule,” said Portillo.

It's the busiest time of the year for Santa, but he always has time to make a kids Christmas wish come true.

“Answer that call in your heart and say 'Yeah, I want to visit these kids at home.' We are just so grateful that they give up their time," said Portillo.

If you are a family who could benefit from a visit at home from Santa, the deadline to apply for this season with The Secret Sleigh Project is Nov. 30. You can send an email to secretsleigh@gmail.com.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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