Santa’s sweatshirt giveaway at North Central

Posted by Communications staff on 12/16/2020

On a chilly December afternoon, it takes North Central principal Steve Fisk just a little bit longer than usual to get out of his truck. But before you can blame Steve’s glacial pace on achy joints aggravated by the cold – though you’d never catch me doing that! – you need to see what he’s wearing.

It’s a red Santa suit that looks like it time-traveled from the early 1980s. And yes, that is duct tape holding his belt together.

North Central principal Steve Fisk is dressed in an old Santa Claus suit - complete with beard and hair - holding a bell. “It’s been a while since I’ve worn this fella,” Steve says as he fidgets with the felt collar. “It’s a bit snug.”

But Principal Fisk doesn’t endure this kind of sartorial discomfort for any jolly, old reason. On this chilly December afternoon, Steve and a few of his colleagues/elves are going door-to-door to deliver cheer to hundreds of families in the form of a North Central sweatshirt.

“We started giving out the sweatshirts five years ago thanks to an idea from Matt and Kim Johnson,” recalls Steve. “Each year, we create a different design to go on the front of the sweatshirts then hand them out to students as motivational tools.”

The first year, NC bought 30-50 sweatshirts to hand out. This year, they bought over 300 sweatshirts with money donated by school staff and their loved ones.

NC counselor Lyndsey Sabo – one of the giveaway organizers – says it’s a highlight staff look forward to every year.

“Staff nominate students to get sweatshirts based on good things they’re doing at school,” says Lyndsey. But nominations, she clarifies, are kept anonymous.

“By not telling the students who nominated them, it lets them know that anyone – everyone – in the school sees their potential and wants them to succeed.”

Because the pandemic has closed the school to most of the students, the sweatshirts were hand-delivered to each student’s home. While a lot of the recipients knew it was coming (it’s hard to slip “what’s your sweatshirt size?” into casual conversation without letting the cat out of the bag), seeing their beloved principal in an ill-fitting Santa suit was enough to warm up this chilly December afternoon.

“We’d do anything for these kids,” exclaims Steve, with a big smile on his face.

You only need one look at his outfit to know he’s absolutely telling the truth.