‘Caring Santa’ comes to Lincoln

Posted By: Nicole Cousins


For most kids, Seeing Santa during the holidays is a big deal.

But for some families, it’s a rare opportunity.

Kendra Bryant’s son Camden has autism, making it more difficult to bring him and his three siblings to places Santa normally visits.

But the Autism Family Network put together a special event so families like the Byants could meet Saint Nick.

"With the Santa downstairs and him able to go in and get used to the area before hand makes a huge difference because we can’t do things typical families can do,” Kendra said. “Like just go to the mall and see Santa. That’s too much for him."

The event was held at Lincoln Children’s Museum.

The idea sparked after seeing a video of ‘caring Santas’ on the internet that went viral.

“The thing with caring Santa is these kiddos always hear at school that their friends got to see santa,” Program Director for the Autism Family Network Vicki Depenbusch said. “That’s not always the case with our kids. The malls are loud the lighting is very bright a lot of times, the crowds everything is not conducive to them because of their sensory."

"Being able to have a special opportunity to serve the children with special needs means a lot and that’s why were here," Jason Helgren of Lincoln Children’s Museum.

Santa even made the trip all the way up from Kansas City.

“It’s just the idea of Santa understanding autism or other special needs so that our kids can actually approach them if they want to or just be in the same room,” Depenbusch said.

Camden’s mom also said the event is great for parents to meet other parents, and have a fun and stress–free family night out.