Thornton is looking for a few local elves with good phone skills to help arrange and make some phone calls to kids Dec. 17 through 19. “We need that fun loving, jolly spirit,” said Jennie …
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Thornton is looking for a few local elves with good phone skills to help arrange and make some phone calls to kids Dec. 17 through 19.
“We need that fun loving, jolly spirit,” said Jennie Christoffel, program manager for Thornton’s Recreation Department.
Thornton has hosted a Santa Claus Calling, a holiday calling center for years, Christoffel said — long before she joined the city recreation staff eight years ago.
A jolly voice, deep or not, is all that matters.
“Santa has all kind of voices,” she said.
Family members can sign up their youngsters to have the city call between 6 and 8 p.m. Dec. 17 through 19, specifying a date and rough time for the call and providing some information about their child — name, age, address, brothers and sisters, favorite things, pet names, what they want for Christmas and how they’ve been behaving.
One of the Thornton’s volunteer elves will call, putting Santa — or one of his helpers — on the line when they’re ready.
“We are looking to let them know if there are any holiday celebrations, pets and the kind of cheats we need to continue the conversation,” Christoffel said. “We’re looking for anything to help Santa keep the conversation going.”
It’s a long beloved program that’s popular with Thornton parents and grandparents. She figures volunteers will make 200 calls to local kids this year. She received the first copy of her electronic form registering a child for a call this year all the way back in July.
That means they need plenty of jolly volunteers to man the phones
“We try and have an elf and a Santa pair together, and about four each night,” she said. “But in all honesty, that’s been our hardship in recent years — getting volunteers to make the calls.”
Volunteers have a good time, she said.
“We want someone who can really get into it and have fun,” she said. “They walk out of the room at the end of each night grinning from ear to ear, talking about how cool it is.”
One benefit is they don’t need to dress the part to be a good elf — or a good Santa. Since these are phone calls, a jolly voice is all that matters.
“They can just show up in their street clothes,” she said. “They don’t have to dress the part. I’ve had some of our youth volunteers make the calls.”
The city does the best they can to prepare the volunteers, but the callers need to be prepared.
“We’ve had situations where a pet had died after we had the form,” she said. “We had no way of knowing. Or sometimes we’ll get kiddos who are foster children, and that needs to be handled delicately. But it really is for everyone. It’s a cool, cool program.”
People interested in volunteering should call Christoffel at 720 977-5916.
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