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Kringle's Kause

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lthough I have never charged for an appearance, many people still like to give me something because they appreciate me spending time with them and their families and I certainly appreciate it in return. Many times these gifts include money, which I could easily keep for myself, but I've come up with a much better idea -- one that keeps with the image of Santa Claus and before him, St. Nicholas.

I have always felt very strongly about doing my Santa work because I want to, not to make money. I am not saying anything derogatory about any person who earns money for their Santa work. I believe it is up to each individual person to make that decision and this is the path I have chosen.

Giving of yourself is the greatest gift of all

This is why I have decided to take whatever money is given to me by my generous friends, and in turn donating it to the Salvation Army's Children's Shelter in Kansas City.

I have picked the Children's Shelter as Santa's Charity and my plan is to donate all money I receive each year making appearances to the Shelter.

The Children’s Shelter provides emergency shelter care for children who are Missouri residents and are unable to remain in their homes due to a family crisis, issues of abuse and/or neglect. Since opening in 1981, about 5,000 children have received care through this program.

To me it seems very appropriate that Santa Claus would make the Shelter a top priority.

The Shelter's staff and volunteers are trained to support the children as they cope with the issues of grief, loss, separation, abuse and neglect. Clinical social work services are provided by licensed social work staff and include individual, family and group counseling. Children participate in a therapeutic recreation program which includes community outings, Resident Council, and group activities designed to build the child’s self-esteem, problem-solving and coping skills, and to enhance social and emotional development.

I have pledged to do this every year for as long as I can. I urge you all to do something similar if you can. It doesn't have to be a great amount of money. To find out how you can help the Salvation Army's Children's Shelter, please call 816-756-2769, ext 112.

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