ENERGY IN ACTION – EPISODE 035
The MitoSantas Program
We’re in the Christmas spirit at MitoAction. Jeannie Freeman and Stephanie Tomlinson discuss the popular MitoSantas program. Tune in to learn more about how you can support the program, how to become an elf or a recipient.
What is the history of the MitoSantas program?
MitoSantas started in western New York in 2009 when a group of moms attending a support group meeting shared their struggles around Christmas time. People began offering to donate money and from then on, local families came together to support each other year after year to ensure mito kids had a great holiday. The program grew and eventually MitoAction got involved.
How many kids participate in MitoSantas?
The program is for kids affected by mitochondrial disease and siblings of those kids. Last year we had over one hundred kids.
Can families apply every year?
Families can apply annually. Each year we open an application asking questions about the child— favorite color, character, sports team, snacks, clothing sizes. The application asks the same questions for siblings.
How is the MitoSantas program funded?
We submit grant requests and obtain corporate sponsors. Since the program started in 2009, there has been a generous sponsor who chooses to stay anonymous and he accounts for a significant portion of the funding. We fundraise through different events that support the program and donations are also appreciated.
How do you become an elf?
Being an elf is an important part of the program. As a small staff, we can always use help to field requests, shop for gifts, wrap gifts and ensure gifts are delivered by Christmas. No matter where you live, there are elf duties you can do. Anyone who wants to volunteer can email email@example.com.