Odessa Fire Department hosts its annual Kids Christmas event

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ODESSA, N.Y. (WETM) – For more than 50 years, the Odessa Fire Department has provided gifts for kids in the Odessa area. This year instead of hosting an in-person Christmas event, they’ve transitioned into a kids drive-thru Christmas in hopes to keep the holiday cheer in place.

The Fire Department had to adopt a different method for their holiday giveaway.

“We had to utilize technology. The families who participated signed up for this kids Christmas through the village website. Then they schedule a time to come and pick up the gift,” said John Jelliff, Fire Chief, Odessa Fire Department

The number of families and kids that received gifts during this event has dropped this year.

“About 40 to 60 children were recipients of the Odessa Kids Christmas giveaway in previous years. I think we had something like 25 to 30 families that are involved this year,” said Jelliff

While the art of giving looks different this year, the Odessa Fire Department staff are just glad they can still provide presents to the local community.

“We’re just glad that the families still come out,” said Peggy Tomassi, Associate, Odessa Fire Department

Each year the focus is to keep the Christmas-like celebrations merry while continuing their holiday traditions that started over 50 years ago.

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