Kids often ask Santa Claus for the latest gadgets and gizmos, but this year it was Santa himself who got in on the latest technology trends with a little help from Cisco. On December 7th and 8th Cisco’s Canadian Civic Council, a group of employee volunteers that direct charitable giving, ran its Connected Santa program which brought the man himself to some very excited children across the country through WebEx HQ and Tandberg technology.
On December 7th, Santa beamed into the wards of IWK Health Centre in Halifax. Using WebEx, a web conferencing solution that lets you connect with anyone anywhere in real time, and a tablet, Santa visited children throughout the hospital, many of whom were in isolation wards and otherwise would not have had the opportunity to spend a little time with him. The power of Santa really came to life with one little boy! Hospital staff told us that Santa brought out the first smile they had seen since he arrived at the hospital.
December 8th, via Tandberg – a high definition video conferencing solution that creates life-like face-to-face meetings, Santa met with children at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, as well as Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver. It was an incredible experience to see the children so engaged and happy, especially when they are so ill. And judging by the looks on those smiling faces, Santa was a big hit! Santa was beamed from our downtown Toronto and Ottawa offices, which were transformed into temporary North Poles complete with a winter window and Christmas tree! Along with the visit, Santa brought presents for all the children and provided a holiday lunch for the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
Santa’s visit was a perfect kick-off to the holiday season and taught the adults how resilient little kids are in the face of difficult challenges. It was also a great way to show the power of technology – and how it can transform our world – one Santa visit at a time!