ELMIRA, NY (WETM) – The holiday season is a special time for giving and for spending time with family and friends. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s favorite mascot, Jingles the Selfless Elf, is back again this year.

After many years of hosting our Selfless Elf 5k fundraising event, the organization shifted directions last year. They reinvented Selfless Elf as a 25 Days of Selflessness interactive holiday advent calendar. Individuals and families from across the Southern Tier joined together in daily activities— including holiday baking, seasonal crafts, selfless acts of kindness, and supporting the Food Bank. The overwhelming success of 25 Days of Selflessness and the regional engagement with Jingles’ activities has led us to retire the Selfless Elf 5k event and make Selfless Elf’s 25 Days of Selflessness a permanent fixture.

“Donations are really huge, especially this time of year. Just $1 could provide three meals,” Katherine Strawser, Community Engagement Manager at Food Bank of the Southern Tier, said.

This year’s Selfless Elf event, sponsored by Wegmans, kicks off on December 1, with activities posted daily through December 25. From December 1-25, participants can visit the advent calendar on their website to see what Jingles has planned for you that day. Activities are for people of all ages and include seasonal crafts, holiday treats, acts of kindness, and engaging with the Food Bank.

“Jingles brought a lot of holiday cheer through last year’s inaugural 25 Days of Selflessness advent calendar,” said Natasha Thompson, Food Bank President & CEO. “We’re excited to bring the community together, once again, during the holiday season to experience the gift of selflessness.”

Wegmans, Cameron Manufacturing & Design, Erie Insurance, and M&T Bank have partnered with the Food Bank of the Southern Tier’s Selfless Elf partnership.

The Food Bank of the Southern Tier distributes food to people struggling with hunger through a network of 165 food pantries, meal programs, shelters, and other hunger relief agencies in Broome, Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties. The Food Bank also directly serves people in need through the BackPack Program, Kids’ Farmers Markets, and Mobile Food Pantry Program. Through advocacy, education, and community partnerships, the Food Bank’s vision is to create a future without hunger for everyone in the Southern Tier. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is a member of Feeding America, is a regional agency of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester, and was named the 2017 Feeding America Food Bank of the Year.