By: Mariah Desirae Manes
December 4th, 2020
~5 minute read.
Santa Express is a non-profit shopping experience established in 1992 that is focused on children having the opportunity to shop for the adults in their lives during the Christmas season with 100% of the proceeds given to Vanessa Behan for children in crisis situations.
While previous years have offered an in-person shopping experience for adults in a local-goods-produced boutique, and also for children in the retail store with special “Elf” assistance, instead, this unique Christmas season offers the ability to engage in a fun activity for children from the comfort of home while also supporting a local non-profit. “Santa Express was created with the sole purpose of providing financial support to Vanessa Behan while also encouraging the awareness of the nursery through an outlet that brings local holiday cheer and family engagement,” states event coordinator, Hayley Lydig of Santa Express. Lydig also comments on the brainstorming process when the organization was determining the safest and most profitable way to bring this shopping experience to the Spokane community in a year that hosts a pandemic with uncertainty for the future. Lydig accounts, “we wanted to hold an experience of surprise for children when they choose specially-picked and beautifully wrapped gifts for the adults in their lives while also knowing that we wanted the parent to have as limited interaction as possible. We designed the website with ease of buttons and photos to help with the selection process and made it easy for parents to decide the budgeted amount they want the child to spend. Pick-up is contactless and our board is doing everything they can to create a safe and clean environment.”
Vexing Media has had the pleasure to work with Lydig and the board of Santa Express to aid in the designing of this new experience through Santa Express’ new website created to provide easy shopping for children, and their adults, in a timely manner.
How does the Santa Express contactless shopping work? After a child between the ages of 4 and 12 places the order (with limited parental interaction) on the website for a gift ranging in price from only $1-$10, there are easy contactless pick-up times designed for the customer to stay in the vehicle while the volunteers (“Elves”) load a beautifully wrapped gift into the trunk.
When can you shop? Website shopping is now live at https://santaexpress.org and will continue to be live until December 20th, 2020.
What pick-up times are available?
Tuesdays: Dec 1, Dec 8, Dec 15, Dec 22. 4-6 pm
Saturdays Dec 12, Dec 19. 10 am-2 pm
Looking to volunteer? You are awesome! However, this year in efforts to uphold a safe environment for volunteers and local families, there are no volunteers needed at this time. Instead, the board of Santa Express will be wrapping and aiding in the ordering process. The board is thankful for your grace in this process and wants to thank all volunteers past and present and send a vast thanks to their sponsors.
Show your support for local families and businesses by visiting the new Santa Express website for a fun shopping experience for the entire family, or, simply leave a donation on the Santa Express website in support of Vanessa Behan. December 20th is your last day to order so get your shopping done early!