Contrary to what some people might think, Christmas is NOT canceled this year. Even a pandemic isn't going to keep Santa away. And thanks to some people's creativity, fun new traditions are starting.

There's no doubt about it, jolly old St. Nick will still be working his magic and coming down chimneys on Christmas eve, however with the pandemic, having your child sit on Santa's lap might not be the best idea. So, here's the next best thing, COVID Recovery Iowa has launched free virtual Santa visits just in time for the holidays. These safe and convenient visits are an ideal alternative as Iowans find new ways to honor holiday traditions during the pandemic.

The Virtual Santa visits run now through December 22nd. People of all ages are encouraged to sign-up on the COVID Recovery Iowa Facebook page under "services" and schedule a visit.

In a press release, Karen Hyatt, Emergency Mental Health Specialist stated: "We understand the holiday season may look different for a lot of families this year and we want to offer honor the tradition of Santa visits. The visit doesn't have to be about an unattainable request, it could be a discussion about the reindeer or what an elf is really like". Staff are also able to link people with available holiday programs in their communities.

Hyatt also explains that Virtual Santa is just one of many creative ways that COVID Recovery Iowa is helping Iowans cope during the winter months and throughout the pandemic. COVID Recovery Iowa is for anyone who has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and for some, the aftermath of the derecho. The program offers free and confidential virtual counseling, support groups, personal support, fun activities and referrals.

Iowans in need of personal support can contact the Iowa Concern Hotline at 800-447-1985 (24/7) go to, or call the Iowa Warm Line 844-775-9276 between the hours of Noon and 10pm.

Courtesy - Covid Recovery Iowa
Courtesy - Covid Recovery Iowa
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