Elmira, N.Y. (18 NEWS) — Santa is making a list, he’s checking it twice, and thanks to local organizations many families will have a Christmas morning that is very nice. On Friday afternoon the Elmira Pioneers, Buckley Automotive, and Southern Tier Mechanical Services teamed up with the Arnot Mall to collect teddy bears that will be donated to Arnot Health’s 4C Pediatric Unit for sick children on Monday morning.
Don Lewis, the co-owner of the Elmira Pioneers says it’s something he’s proud to do.
“It’s just important for us as local owners to give back to the community. We bought the team four years ago that’s what we really wanted to do was focus on the community and we feel we’ve done a good job with that, so this is just another to piece to it. To bring the community together and to give to kids this time,” he says.
Meanwhile, the Shabach Tabernacle Church packed up donated toys they received as part of their “Toys for tots” campaign. The packages will be available to families who registered on Tuesday morning.
Now in it’s fourth year participating in “Toys for Tots”, Paster Bobby Smith says the church will give the donations to 300 families, from Elmira, to Watkins Glen, and everywhere in between. Helping those in need is something both Pastor Bobby Smith and Don Lewis agree is the best gift of all.
“There’s also such a wonderful thing in giving a gift or a toy. Putting some love or a smile on a child, or a parent’s house,” says Smith.
“A teddy bear gang to a sick child at the hospital or a teddy bear going to a kid’s house on Christmas morning, it just a puts a smile on a kid’s face and that’s what all the hard work and effort is about,” Lewis.