Santee Santas was established in 1953 by Margaret Ness and Charles Skidmore, Superintendent of the Santee School District. Other key supporters were Perry Shipman, Gelene Harritt and John and Ruth Northcote.
In 1953, Santee was mainly farm and dairy land. The Santee School was the only school, with about 200 students. Four or five families were helped as part of the Holiday Program.
The Santee School District assumed the responsibility for coordinating the program until 1985. At that time the school district decided that it should assume a smaller role in the administration of the program and encouraged the establishment of a volunteer organization.
Today, the Santee Santas Foundation has several hundred volunteers and a board of directors consisting of eleven members.
For more information about the history of the City of Santee, see: