The following simple steps indicate how to set-up a Jimmy's Kids Program in your area. These steps can be developed by any individual or group, and most require little time or energy. The easiest approach is to start with a small number of children, deemed forgotten: indigent, physically and/or emotionally disabled, and without primary caregivers. Elementary or middle-school children are the areas of greater concern.
1. Form a Jimmy's Kids committee made up of a chairperson and committee members which may consist of friends, business associates, and any other affiliates such as service clubs or charities that are willing to help with this endeavor.
2. Contact a school in your area and have them identify a certain number of children that fall within the criteria listed above. Request to speak to the special education teacher and obtain final approval from the school principal.
3. Select a date in the month of December and a time to hold the Christmas Party that is mutually agreeable for both the school and the organizer. Suggestion: Schedule party for after lunch or during the early afternoon so kids can relish the full experience.
4. Get a list of demographics, ages, gender, and special needs of the program participants from the school. Send a Wish List form to the school to be completed ahead of time by Christmas party participants.
5. Assign the following tasks and any others you can think of to committee members:
Purchase, pick-up and/or delivery of toys.
Storage of toys, if necessary.
Rental or purchase of cartoon character costumes (Santa, Mickey, Barney, etc.).
Assignment of volunteers and mentors.
Development of format and time schedule for the party.
Arrangement of transportation of volunteers for the day of the event.
Arrangement of a local celebrity personality to attend the event.
6. Contact local businesses for support including both in-kind and monetary contributions. Examples of in-kind contributions include food and beverages to be served at party, facility to hold party at, toys and gifts, printing of promotional materials, etc.
7. Contact local media for coverage of the event. The more community awareness, the more potential for growth of the program.
8. Make sure all committee members operate on their time-lines for their respective responsibilities. Communicate regularly by letter, e-mail, phone or fax.
9. On the morning of the event, meet with all committee members and volunteers to confirm duties. If someone with an assigned duty is unable to attend, arrange for a substitute.
10. Implement an appropriate method of giving thanks to all the volunteers.