Orange Santa began in 1994 as a program designed to foster a more caring university environment by providing help for members of the university community in need during the holiday season. In December 2019, Orange Santa served 300 families, including 800 children.

In previous years, the Orange Santa Holiday Store provided an opportunity for participating faculty, staff and students to "shop" for gifts and toys for children in their immediate families. The store would be stocked with items contributed through a campus-wide donation drive as well as items collected at special events.

Due to the need for physical distancing and the university's efforts to Protect Texas Together, Orange Santa 2020 will be completely virtual, with applicants receiving a gift card for each child (17 and under) in their household. To apply, please visit the application page (open November 2). Applications close December 1. 

Orange Santa is pleased to partner with the Hispanic Faculty and Staff Association (HFSA) in promoting their John Treviño Jr. Holiday Assistance Program, a companion project that provides assistance with a holiday meal.

Orange Santa and the HFSA John Treviño Jr. Holiday Assistance Program provide resources for UT employees and students in need but they also serve as an opportunity for the larger university community to contribute to meeting those needs and to participate in a special season of caring.

Community Partners 

Orange Santa is sponsored by the Office of the President.  It is a collaborative program of the UT Cares Committee involving individuals and groups from colleges, schools and administrative units across the campus.  It is made possible through the support and contributions of numerous friends within The University of Texas at Austin community.