Santa reads bedtime stories online to Ill. kids amid pandemic


MORRIS, Ill. (WSL/CNN) - Santa Claus is making surprise visits to some kids in Illinois, but this time he’s using the computer instead of the chimney.

While it may be April, he’s decided to break his “vacation,” saying that he feels needed in this time of crisis.

“If I can spread a little joy and a little bit of cheer to calm everybody down through this tough time we’re having, that’s what Santa does best,” said Dave Di Vicenzo, otherwise known as Santa Dave.

When he’s not in his workshop, Santa Dave can usually be found in Morris, Illinois, doing good deeds for the community.

“Santa is very involved with the Lions Club out here. And through some grants and some donations, we were able to get funding for phones, cell phones for some seniors out here, so they can communicate with their families,” he said.

Santa Dave now has a new mission.

Every Tuesday night, he goes online to read bedtime stories for the local boys and girls.

“Santa’s actually gone high-tech,” he said. “I’ve got new couple of pieces of software that will allow me to actually put the book online and be able to the pages so the boys and girls can read along with me, right on the screen.”

Santa Dave even goes a little further to make it special, giving personalized shoutouts to the listening kids.

“It’s so much fun,” Santa Dave said. “That’s what this all about: the looks on their faces.”

It’s those looks that makes Santa’s interrupted vacation all worthwhile. He says it’s all worth it to help create some good memories for kids during this chaos.

“Yeah, we were home when the world was going through a pandemic,” he said. “But you remember Santa Claus telling stories… that was really cool.”

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