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|Imagine a child with no Christmas presents. Picture that child's face when he realizes that 'Santa Claus' didn't come. Please help us make sure that no child in our community feels left out this Christmas.
Watch YouTube video of our 2010 Christmas Tree Lane fundraising event for Santa Claus, Inc
News Release December 31, 2011 ---
Board of Review US Commerce AssociationWe are pleased to announce that Santa Claus, Inc. has been selected for the 2012 Best of San Bernardino Award in the Social Workers & Services category by the US Commerce Association (USCA).
The selection as a 2012 Award Winner is a reflection of the many years of hard work of President Karen DiCarlo and the many hundreds of volunteers and people that have supported your non-profit business and contributed to the subsequent success of your unique 60 year old organization. Congratulations on your selection to such an elite group of small businesses honored with the award.
In recognition of your achievement, a special 2012 Best of San Bernardino Award is provided for display at your place of business.
The mission of Santa Claus, Inc. is to provide new toys, new clothing, and new books for over 17,000 underprivileged children each Christmas. Parents are invited to select Christmas gifts for each of their children at the Santa Claus, Inc. 'Workshop.'The goal of Santa Claus, Inc. is to make each parent feel as if they are really 'Christmas shopping' rather than receiving a direct offering from a charity.Hundreds of volunteers work together, lovingly preserving the dignity of approximately 5,000 parents, grandparents, or guardians yearly. Family referrals come to Santa Claus, Inc. through various city and county agencies, churches, schools, and friends.Families from throughout the greater San Bernardino area, including Highland, Colton, and other surrounding areas, are eligible for help. In addition to the families who are helped directly at 'Santa's workshop,' many are helped through other organizations with donations of clothing, toys, books, and candy rolls provided by Santa Claus, Inc. Santa Claus, Inc. is indeed one of the most unique charities in the United States. Volunteers, including the Board of Directors, give thousands of volunteer hours each year with no compensation. Santa Claus, Inc. provides a way of life for many of its senior volunteers. It is a lifestyle of giving that provides a wonderful purpose in the lives of many. It is so much more than a few volunteers getting together one week out of the year to hand out some clothes and toys to the needy. Santa Claus, Inc. provides friendships, support during difficult times, and a wonderful way to stay involved in the community. Santa Claus, Inc. does not take time to ponder secular or historic barriers that may divide some people - it brings people together. Volunteers from all corners of the region - the probable and the improbable - come together for a common cause. People with enormously diverse heritages and backgrounds work together striking a common chord of human generosity. Santa Claus, Inc. has proven that human kindness need have no boundary. Santa Claus, Inc. was founded in 1952 by Mrs. Mignon Schweitzer, a member of the Jewish community who was concerned about the need for helping the less fortunate during the most popular season of the Christian faith. Mignon brought various concerned community members together for this ongoing project that would serve members of all faiths. Mignon's family embraced Christmas during her early years, celebrating each year at her grandparent's home in San Bernardino. This childhood experience was the impetus for an organization that has continued to serve the most needy children of the community. Mignon Schweitzer served on the Board of Directors until her death at age 96. Mignon's protege Karen DiCarlo has served Santa Claus, Inc. for over 30 years as volunteer, Christmas Tree Lane Chairman numerous years, the organization's longest serving president and ultimately it's first Executive Director. As Executive Director, Karen is tasked with the job of major fundraising to keep the Santa Claus, Inc. organization stronger than ever in the 21st Century.
... Packaging at the warehouse ..... Harriett and Karen talk quilting ..... "Sticthes from the Heart" ..... ... Executive Director Karen DiCarlo photos at Inland Fundraising Academy Graduation on Feb. 28, 2012
Focus on Santa Claus Inc. Michel Nolan, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/27/2012 SAN BERNARDINO SUN NEWSPAPER
Karen DiCarlo is not your ordinary elf.
She's much busier than her pointy-eared counterparts at the North Pole.
As executive director of Santa Claus Inc., she is a blur on the radar, tackling the myriad duties of one of the biggest nonprofits south of Santa's workshop.
For nine years she served as Santa Claus Inc. president, managing tons of "miracles" distributed to less fortunate children every Christmas.
That would be 17,000 needy children - most of whom have no other gifts under their tree on Christmas morning.
The year-long Christmas project is such a humongous undertaking, however, that Karen strategized with a planning committee last year to streamline elfish endeavors.
In its 60th year, Santa Claus Inc. is a more efficient nonprofit now - leaner but not meaner.
These days, in fact, Karen has been able to take time off from her Santa's workshop duties to serve as a model at tonight's 51st annual Headdress Ball.
If you go, you'll find the diminutive Karen under a fabulously gorgeous - and huge - headdress designed by master designer Derrick Vasquez.
She'll be the one balancing a collection of toys, magical snowflakes and dangling Christmas ornaments on her head while dancing in a big musical production number.
"I'm really out of my comfort zone dancing around," she laughs.
And whether she volunteers for the Assistance League's Headdress Ball or Santa Claus Inc., her efforts are always for the children.
Parents of three, grandparents of 10, Karen and her husband, Don DiCarlo, are both graduates of Pacific High School and longtime San Bernardino residents.
"Last year, when I was seeking forward-thinking accomplishments for Santa Claus Inc., I received input that we needed a professional executive director," Karen said.
Since she was already working a 40-hour week, Karen volunteered for the job. Now, Margaret Potvin, a former social worker, has taken the reins as president, with San Bernardino Valley College instructor, Robert Hagen, taking on the challenges of the new Volunteer Coordinator - both volunteer positions.
"One thing about Santa Claus Inc. is the misconception that a volunteer organization has to be 100 percent volunteers," Karen said. "We've been 100 percent volunteer for 60 years, but organizations go out for grant money and need to show structure - who's responsible."
According to Karen, "We accomplished miracles with our casual structure, but now we're so much more savvy about the way Santa Claus Inc. should be run - about 10 times more efficient. Now we're off and running and I'm working on donor development."
A more recent addition to the Christmas program is Fund-a-Child, in which people can donate $25 monthly, providing a Merry Christmas for 12 children.
The 501(c)(3)organization is run by a 10-member board, with a regular staff of 150 volunteers and as many as 2,000 volunteers for Christmas donations and distribution.
That's a lot of elves.
Santa Claus programs also include the Christmas Tree Lane fundraiser (around since the early `60s), which Karen has chaired for three years, and is scheduled this year for Nov. 30-Dec. 1.
The third annual golf tournament fundraiser is set for May 19 at San Bernardino Golf Club.
"Santa Claus Inc. is my passion," Karen says, "my heart."Contact Michel via email, by phone at 909-386-3859, or follow her on Twitter @MichelNolan.
Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/news/ci_20496701/focus-santa-claus-inc#ixzz1tPK9CcSj
Karen DiCarlo 2011 Children's Network "Shine a Light" award
|Santa Claus Incorporated was established in 1952. The first year almost 500 children were served. Today we target over 17,000 especially needy children annually. For more information, please email us or click on this link at Elves@santaclausinc.com
Aid to the needy Michel Nolan staff writer, San Bernardino County Sun www.SBcountySun.com Karen DiCarlo has looked into the faces of the working poor - parents struggling to clothe and feed their kids. "We can look everywhere in the communities we serve and see thousands who are struggling for survival. Poverty debilitates families - the burdens can be unbearable," says Karen, president and head elf of Santa Claus Inc., a nonprofit that helps families in need during Christmastime. This year's Santa Claus Inc. Christmas Tree Lane fundraiser - with the theme "The World Celebrates Christmas" - will be the most beautiful in the group's history, Karen says. The Friday to Saturday extravaganza is an evening gala of dining, dancing, live auction, fashion show and tree drawing, at 6 p.m. Friday; and the luncheon, fashion show and tree drawing at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Both events are at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino and feature designer Christmas trees that reflect the theme. "It will be like getting on a train to go around the world - with the Pacific Islands, Europe, Africa, Asia, and of course, America," says designer and event chairman, Derrick Vasquez. "Sure, we're all busy, but there's such a need for these kids. That's what the season is all about," says Derrick, director of special events, catering and sales at the events center. Each of the 16 designer trees will be unique - some fun and animated, others more subdued and earthy, he said. Master of ceremonies for the black-tie-optional evening gala is Mayor Pat Morris; luncheon event emcee is Ron Stark, "Voice of the Inland Empire." Following the hearty four-course dinner, author and culinary guru Martha Green, will serve as auctioneer extraordinaire. Macy's Fashion Extravaganza, presented by Couture Productions, will showcase designs reminiscent of Paris or Milan for both the evening and luncheon events, according to Derrick. This year's honorees are Harriett Niemeyer, a 50-year volunteer at the Santa Claus Inc. warehouse, who will be presented the Mignon Schweitzer Memorial Award; and the Matich family for its continued support of children's programs, recipient of the Dick Bryant Memorial Award. Both events also will offer opportunities to help Fund a Child, which enables people to adopt a child at Christmas for $25. The amount provides clothing, a toy and a book. Dancing to the music of Smooth Touch rounds out the evening. Since 1952, Santa Claus Inc. has made the holidays a little merrier for more than 400,000 children. This year alone, the organization will help 15,000 children, according to Karen. "We are so proud of the clothing and toys made by our extraordinary volunteers," says Karen, a lifetime volunteer who's been helping others since her Girl Scout days. "Most of parents of the children we help are the `working poor,' people who have jobs and pay bills but have nothing left for Santa gifts," she says, "and the numbers are increasing." All Santa Claus Inc. needs is a few more good elves. michel.nolan@ inlandnewspapers.com
Santa Claus Inc. putting together massive list
Watch YouTube video of our 2010 Christmas Tree Lane fundraising event for Santa Claus, Inc
Santa Claus Inc. is making a list and checking it twice.
Possibly the mother of all Christmas lists, there are already 17,000 names on it, according to Karen DiCarlo, president and head elf of the San Bernardino-based nonprofit organization.
"We have those 17,000 requests so far and more are pouring in from all over the country," Karen says. "We only take care of local people, but it proves how unique we are."
The organization, now in its 59th year, helps parents in need give to their children at Christmastime.
Parents "shop without charge" in the Santa Claus warehouse each December, selecting clothing, toys, books and goodies for their children - all donated or handmade by Santa Claus Inc. volunteers.
These hundreds of volunteers are the elves who make miracles happen each year.
They're the unsung heroes, the faces of generosity.
Bless their little pointed ears.
For a week each December - Dec. 7 through 14 this year - a plain distribution center in San Bernardino serves as the North Pole.
The 6,000-square-foot building is stacked to the ceiling with the donated treasures. For some families, the box of goodies they leave with is all there will be under the tree on Christmas morning.
Many of the parents are not welfare recipients but the "working poor," people who have jobs and pay bills but have nothing left for Santa gifts.
Last year they made Christmas a little merrier for more than 17,000 local children. Karen anticipates more need than ever this year
. "We're blessed this year with donations from Mattel and others, but our biggest needs are underwear, socks and diapers. They are expensive for us and every parent wants them." Mundane but necessary.
Although elves are working feverishly, there is also still a need for gifts for older kids - younger children's things are easier to come by, according to Karen, now in her tenth year as president.
"A lot of the letters from families include their story and they are so sad," she said. "I'm really touched."
Santa Claus Inc. miracles are also made possible by fundraisers.
Christmas Tree Lane, the annual Santa Claus Inc. fundraiser, is set for Dec. 3 and 4 at the National Orange Show in San Bernardino. For tickets and information, call Ann Doty at (909) 886-2528.
To volunteer, or for more Santa Claus Inc. information, call the warehouse at (909) 885-0090 or e-mail Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: as of late December 2011 more than 445,000
local children have been served. New volunteer workers are welcome year round...
Santa Claus NOW ACCEPTS PayPal for donations online on our home page.
You may donate as little as $25 which will provide a wonderful group of clothes, books and toys for one child. $50 will provide for two and $100 will provide for four. How do we do it? Because so many businesses and over 2,000 volunteers work year round without pay giving their time and resources! Become part of the joy and donate today. Click on the PayPal Donate Button to go to our HOME PAGE to help.
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