Santa PICsU is a 501(c)3 organization that brings the “Healing Power of Giving” to children and families in traumatic situations on a year-round basis.
One afternoon in December of 2012, after viewing a news broadcast the previous evening regarding a local Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Tim Clepper and Rick Malson decided to travel there to see where they could help. Tim and Rick were on a mission to find out what children were in the most desperate situations due to a traumatic event that landed them in the PICU over Christmas.
With kids of their own, they really couldn’t imagine anything less desirable than being a child confined to a hospital bed over Christmas. They also realized that the physicians on staff over the Holidays would mean that they are not with their families during this blessed time. “Maybe we could find a great local chef to donate Christmas Dinner for the staff,” Rick Malson said…subsequently, Dave Russo from Russo’s in Cuyahoga Falls made that happen and still does to this day.
When Rick and Tim made their first visit to the PICU the nurses on staff didn’t know how or what they were setting out to do. “It was a very busy and hectic time in the hospital. This would have been December 23rd, 2012,” according to Tim.
One of the nurses recommended that they meet with “Child Life Services” first, so that is what they did. After 10 minutes, they were filling out visitor’s paperwork to be able to enter the “floor” and talk with some nurses that would be able to help them determine which kiddos needed a visit from Santa Clause the most and what they could do to help. The result was the ability to make the magic of Christmas happen for a family that was going to be there for a while. From that experience, Santa PICsU was born.
Today, Santa PICsU pledges to “bring the healing power of giving to children and families in traumatic situations on a year round basis”. “I couldn’t be more humbled and proud of what we have been able to accomplish for these families who find themselves in this traumatic situation. Also, Santa PICsU provided the funding to refresh the waiting room in the PICU at Akron Children’s Hospital as well as providing the funding the purchase of 8 weigh cribs/beds. I feel like were the Navy S.E.A.L.S for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Akron Children’s Hospital.
We pledge to continue to grow and assist these children and families for many years to come. We also invite others to get involved with what we are doing and learn how they could help. Santa PICsU is growing and that means we are making a difference.
Santa PICsU has two events a year to raise money for the organization. Our flagship fundraiser is our annual “Christmas In July Party”. The event is a BBQ cookout and cookoff where backyard grillers come to compete against their peers and even professional chefs. Invitations to this event will be distributed in April. Also, we have a smaller gathering around Christmas Time or right after the New Year where we as an organization reveal some of the gifts that were given through the year.
Finally, please note that none of the patients or families ever know how the gifts arrive and from whom they come from. Santa PICsU is completely the SPIRIT behind the “Healing Power of Giving”
We invite you to become a part of our fantastic organization!!!
Forever, Santa PICsU.