ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM)-The Arctic League is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that no child in Chemung County goes without gifts on Christmas. For more than a century, the arctic league has provided gifts on Christmas morning but this year due to the pandemic that tradition may look a little different.
Christina Sonsire, the president of the Arctic League says, “we literally had to reinvent every aspect of the arctic league, and it’s all culminating today.” Starting at 9 this morning the organization started deliveries.
Kathy Peris, director for the Arctic League says, “this year because of the time constraint and COVID, we decided to go a day early because we figure it’s going to take probably 6 hours at least to get all these bags delivered. We’re trying to keep everybody as safe as possible and get all these bags delivered. We can only have 24 people inside. So, we’ve got people directing traffic. We’ve got three lines of volunteers picking up packages, hopefully, some of them will come back for a second run.”
Families took this opportunity to show their kids the importance of giving back, and the community rallied together even in a time of shared hardships.
Alex Rogerio, a volunteer today said, “what a testament to Chemung County. Everyone is working together and nothings going to stop them. 2020, Covid, anything.”
1,500 families were provided gifts but they weren’t the only ones who get something out of this. “There’s so much happiness from the people that are bringing the gifts out and all the people that are coming to deliver,” says Sonsire.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed everyone’s lives, but even though this pandemic has turned the holidays upside-down, moments like these give people hope and spirit.
“As we go through this pandemic, everyone is searching for some kind of meaning, and being able to help spread Christmas magic is one of the best things that we can all do to just bring some kind of happiness right now,” says Sonsire.