Special Time with Santa


The chance to meet Santa is not easy to come by for some kids. That’s why every year, the North Brandon Family YMCA makes sure to bring Old Saint Nick to kids at Lopez Exceptional Student Center. The special Santa visit works best for students there dealing with learning, language, neurological, developmental and behavioral disorders.


Late last month, North Brandon Y staff, board and volunteers hosted a sensory-friendly event where more than 64 students met Santa in a familiar environment. Thanks to the generosity of Y donors, each child received a Christmas gift from Santa and his Elf. Students also enjoyed holiday arts and crafts before the Y provided a hot lunch to the entire staff at Lopez ESC to thank them for their hard work and dedication.


“Our incredibly generous members have come through every time and the Lopez students have been showered with Christmas presents,” says Social Responsibility Committee Chair David Stamm. “Many of the students live in group homes and would not get a Christmas gift without our members. The teachers and staff work so hard all year to provide individualized lessons for these highly-disabled students. Our Christmas party lets them know their efforts are appreciated and do not go unnoticed.”


Many thanks to David and the rest of the volunteers and donors who have brought Christmas cheer to Lopez ESC for the past seven years. It’s just another way to show the Tampa Y’s commitment to empowering all community members – regardless of ability – to be healthy, confident, connected and secure.



Pictured above:  Every Christmas, the North Brandon Y brings holiday cheer to special needs children in Seffner.

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