Pecanland Mall partners with Autism Speaks through Santa Cares Program


MONROE, La. (11/24/2019)– Christmas jingles, lights, long lines, and kids filled with anticipation. It’s what’s expected when the man in red comes to town, but not all children can enjoy the excitement that comes with Christmas. That’s why Pecanland Mall offers kids on the spectrum an opportunity to have some one on one time with Santa without the disruptions.

“So it’s a very calm environment for them and it allow them time with Santa,” Kersten Puechner, Pecanland Mall General Manager, said.

Mall personnel say it’s important for them to offer this experience for kids with autism, because everyone should be able to experience the joy that comes with meeting Santa. Puechner said it not only helps the children, but also the parents.

“It allows them to have a good experience for their children. A lot of parents that I spoke with today were grateful that we were giving and havnig this opportunity for them,” Puechner said.

Those who attended got to take pictures with Santa, color with Santa’s elves, and of course, tell the man in red what they want for Christmas this year.

“It’s great to experience it. We were sitting and coloring with some of the kids this morning and they are so excited to have this opportunity and the one on one time with Santa,” Puechner said.

This is the first year the Pecanland mall has partnered up with autism speaks through the Santa Cares Program. Mall personnel say they plan on offering the opportunity again in the years to come.

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