Two Sensitive Santa events are planned over the next two weekends with children who have special needs specifically in mind.

Santa is setting aside some time for some special visitors this Christmas season.

Two Sensitive Santa events are planned over the next two weekends with children who have special needs specifically in mind.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday Onslow Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Services, located at 315 Western Blvd. across from Don Williamson Nissan, will offer free photos with Santa for children who may have never before had the opportunity to meet the North Pole native, Serena Block said.

Block, the president of Wonderfully Made Nonprofit Photography Group, said she began taking photos of special needs children after her daughter was diagnosed with mosaic Down syndrome around the age of 3.

Her daughter, now almost 7, has a light sensitivity. As a photographer, Block wanted to take her photo but was finding it to be a difficult task. Block then purchased equipment that would allow her daughter to feel comfortable in a photography setting.

She spoke with other mothers with special needs children and said nearly all of whom told her they had no family photos because of their children’s sensitivities.

Block created Wonderfully Made to help those families get the photos they wanted, and this year she’s broadening that to Christmas photos with Santa.

A portrait room will be set up so the families have individual time alone with Santa.

“Everyone is getting special attention,” Block said.

If the child becomes frightened of Santa, he will step out and Block will take a Christmas photo of the family without the man in the red suit, she said.

Parents who signed up for the photos fill out an application that tells Block a little more about their child and she uses that to tailor each shoot to the child. The photos will be sent digitally through email or by CD a few days after the photoshoot.

“Each family is going to get about 15 minutes of alone time with Santa,” she said.

Santa will have a large red bag full of presents Block has picked out for the children using the applications from the parents.

The lines, which often irritate special needs children and outside distractions that can occur at public places like mall photos with Santa have been cut in order to make each child feel safe, comfortable and happy for the experience, Block said.

“We’re making it more private and just less overwhelming for them,” she said.

There are still afternoon slots open, Block said.

To sign up, visit the Wonderfully Made Facebook page at to get the application. Block said to screenshot the application photo, print and fill it out then email it to Block at or fax the answers to Block at 910-346-1600.

The following weekend on Dec. 10 a second Sensitive Santa event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Methodist Home for Children, located at 127 Center St. in Jacksonville.

Appointments are filling up fast, said Trillium Administrative Assistant Kellie Kincaid. Parents who came last year have called in to say how much their kids loved it, and there are already twice as many families signed up compared to 2015.

One parent said her son had never seen Santa before and she wanted to introduce him in a good environment, Kincaid said.

There were seven appointments left by Wednesday afternoon. To sign up for the Dec. 10 Sensitive Santa, contact Kincaid at 1-866-998-2597.