“We have not done a lot with Santa in the past, but when we heard about a ‘sensory-friendly experience with Santa’ for special needs children, we jumped on it. No lines, bright lights, and minimal noise. We were the only ones in the room and were able to let Kensi set the tone all while taking as many [pictures] as we wanted. The volunteers/Santa were so friendly and made it such a positive experience. And all for free! Now that is how you do Santa. Thank you, TALMAR!”-Kensi’s Mom, Erika.

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Dear Friends of TALMAR,

THANK YOU to everyone who has donated to TALMAR this holiday season. We know the end of year is jam-packed with charities requesting support—that you choose to support TALMAR means a lot. Our community members, including people with disabilities and veterans, will benefit from your generosity next year.

Your support makes TALMAR’s programs possible.

 

 

 

Matthew’s grandparents took him to visit Santa at TALMAR. This was only the second time in 26 years that Matthew has been able to sit down and visit with Santa, because he’s usually surrounded by too many elves! And let’s face it– seeing Santa when he visits the mall with his elves can be really overwhelming! 
 

Visiting Santa at the mall isn’t possible for everyone. It isn’t magical– it’s scary. There are so many people, so many lights, so much movement, and noise. Santa seems very loud and intimidating. The lines seem never-ending and staying still while you are overstimulated feels impossible. As a parent or caregiver, you don’t have a lot of time to snap that picture-perfect moment of your child before the next person in line is stepping up behind you to take their own turn.

Offering a sensory-friendly Santa experience gives everyone a chance to have a time-honored, magical moment with the most well loved being of all time– Santa. We had 40 year old to 4 years old children spend time with Santa- on their own terms and their own timeline. And these kids were SO excited- they hugged, they laughed, and smiled up at Santa in total awe and wonder.

The only people who could have possibly been more thrilled than the children were their parents and family members.

 

Each family was invited to take their own pictures of their kids, but we also invited them to jump in the picture.Those were the moments we truly realized how needed this event was– parents didn’t have family pictures with their kids and Santa. Quite frankly, they were astonished that we would even offer to do this for them; to give them an incredible family moment captured on film, for free.

For parents of children with special needs, giving their child the same experiences everyone else has is important, but is often fraught with obstacles. At TALMAR we are committed to providing opportunities and experiences for community members of all abilities. The goal of this event was to remove these barriers and provide a memorable experience for these families.

We were certainly able to do that this year and we are so excited to continue offering sensory-friendly and accessible experiences for everyone.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Sensory-Friendly Santa Claus!

 

 

 

 

our fields will be full of seedlings, blossoms, and helping hands. When you buy vegetables and flowers from TALMAR, you provide opportunities for other community members to partake in our therapeutic horticulture programs. Gift cards available.

 

 

Still looking for that perfect gift for a special someone?
We hate to brag, but Santa bought gift cards for TALMAR’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) AND Community Supported Floriculture (CSF) subscriptions for the 2020 season! Mrs. Claus is going to LOVE her fresh flowers and veggies each week– and the reindeer will love it, too!
2020 SUBSCRIPTIONS AVAILABLE! click to sign up

 

 

 

 

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