Santa and his helpers make special visit to Shriners Hospital Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash.– Santa made a special trip on Tuesday from the North Pole to Spokane.

The jolly man visited kids at Shriners Hospital Spokane. He didn’t show up empty-handed. His elf helpers delivered gifts t0 the children.

The children’s hospital plans the visit every few years. It gives children the chance to have a more intimate visit with Santa. Some of the children who are treated at the hospital can’t go to malls and other public places to visit him.

George Rother, 4, is one of the many kids who visit Shriners Hospital often. He was diagnosed with brittle bones early in his life. That means he has to be extra careful when he’s doing things and that he can’t do as much as other kids.

George and his brother Dean were a few of the children at Shriners Hospital who got to share their wishlists with Santa. Their dad Ross said it was something their family won’t forget.

“I was kind of surprised they were pretty shy because they normally don’t have a loss of words, but they may have been in awe. It’s great to have that experience that over the last couple of years things kind of changed and got put on its head. But, it’s a great experience for them to have,” Ross said.

Brennon Hassan has been going to Shriners for the last 11 years. His mom Stella McFarland said it was a “nice experience” for her son and his siblings to visit Santa this way. She feels like it’s even better than going to the mall to visit Santa, saying the kids get to talk with him more in-depth.

“That made it a lot more special,” McFarland said.

That’s the goal for the hospital in putting the event together.

“It’s all about creating this opportunity so our patients can thrive in whatever environment that they’re in. This is an event that helps with that. We want to make sure our patients have every other opportunity as any other child, and they don’t see themselves any differently,” said Jen York, the marketing and communications coordinator for Shriners.

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