Step 1 : Don Santa Hat
Ok, this one is optional, however it adds to the overall experience, and really lends to your authenticity with the kids.
Step 2: Get Sleigh to Loading Area
Bring the sleigh around to the alley way to load it. The alley is half way up Howland road north of Gerrard St.E. before you get to Simpson. The alley separates the church from the back yards of the homes facing Gerrard St. E. The big double doors and THE VERY END are the loading doors (not the set half way up the alley) Especially when loading your sleigh….everyone needs to use the same alley for their sleighs. Be courteous and patient.
Step 3 : Get Your Stack
Come to Room 109 and find a stack of boxes with your name on it. We recommend that you LEAVE YOUR NAME SHEET and route packet with the boxes in the room, until you are done loading the final boxes, so that no one takes your boxes by accident, or you leave boxes behind by accident (it happens every year!) This way you AND other volunteers knows whose boxes are in the room. Load your boxes to the sleigh in the alley – please, do NOT bring the boxes through the social hall and out the side Simpson Avenue door – it is just to much chaos and too many people.
Step 4 : Call The Recipients
Your route list includes the family name, street their address, and their phone number. We recommend that once you get your boxes, you CALL everyone on the list and tell them when you will be delivering their boxes and ask them TO BE HOME TO RECEIVE THEM. For example: “Hi my name is … I am a volunteer delivering the Santa Claus fund gift boxes – the presents for the kids. I am coming with your gift on (insert day) between (insert time range 2-3 for example). Please be sure to be home.”
If you get a Not In Service message, go there anyway – sometimes a lack of phone service does NOT mean they have moved (usually it means they couldn’t afford the bill).
Step 5 : Check Your List
While you have them on the phone confirm their address, and get a Buzzer code if applicable (use the space provided on your route list to note this if you are delivering to apartments).
Step 6 : Roll Out
Jump in the sleigh and start deliveries. If you follow the stop # on the list it coordinates with a stop number on the map. If you have only one stop, it means you are doing an apartment building. We recommend you deliver the boxes starting at the highest floor and work your way down. Elevators are easier to catch going down than up. If you have a route with many stops you likely are doing houses. If you follow the route in the order indicated on your route list and map, it is best, since we route them with one way streets etc in mind – you will have easier driving if you follow the route order.
Step 7 – If They Moved
Get it Delivered. If they are local to you or your delivery route, please deliver to the new address – you will find this out from them on the phone. If they are far, like across town, make a note and make sure you write new address on the box. We will make sure we find someone to deliver it. Bring it back to us on the designated “undeliverables returned day” to room 109. If they are far, let them know someone else may be contacting them to arrange delivery. (It may mean the warehouse elves send a volunteer directly to the new location.)
Step 8 : Don’t Give Up
Try again to deliver if they were not home. Call them and leave them YOUR phone number to make delivery arrangements, and physically go back a second time. If you still don’t find them home, call them again if you have a number, and try again another night to deliver a third time. Look them up on the internet if the phone is not working or missing from the sheet for example. But go back a third time – third time’s a charm!
Step 9 : Mission Complete
More often than not, following the above will get you a 100% successful delivery, and you will have completed your Elf Mission! If you tried everything possible to deliver the box, and went back three times and called them and left messages to no avail, and still are unable to deliver the box is considered undeliverable; bring the box back to Room 109 on the following Sunday and leave it with an explanation note (if possible) in the designated box return spot.
Step 10 : The Santa Report
We are endeavoring to collect stories of experiences had while delivering Star Boxes. We hope to eventually compile these into an archive for the church and for the Toronto Star. Each of you will undoubtedly take something away from this experience. We would like to hear about your delivery experience. Please take the time to e-mail us at: starboxsanta[at]rogers.com with stories you would like to share. If you have any major problems while delivering your boxes, you can reach Romelda at: 647-466-1585.