The COVID-19 pandemic couldn't keep a long-standing holiday tradition from brightening the lives of many area families.
This year, Project Santa provided food baskets to 56 families and gifts to 150 students.
"I was a little nervous about how the program would run this year with the pandemic. I was not sure it would live up to past year's programs. However, the school, the community, and area businesses and donors never cease to amaze me," said Project Santa coordinator Lorraine Ruffino.
UV's annual non-perishable food drive helped fill the food baskets, while faculty, staff and board members sponsored students for gifts. The following businesses and community groups also sponsored families: NYCM in Edmeston, NYCM in Sherburne, Preferred Mutal, McLaughlin's Department Store, New Berlin Fire Department, Good Neighbor's church group with Debbie Taranto, and The Rotary Club.
The following businesses donated food and/or money to help fill our food baskets: Service Pharmacy New Berlin (eggs), Stewart's Shops (65 half gallon milk coupons), Hannaford Supermarkets (nonperishable food), Walmart in Norwich ($100 in potatoes), Price Chopper Oneonta ($25 gift card), Price Chopper Norwich ($30 gift card), Chobani ($500 and 60 cases of yogurt), Storm Family 4H (55 gallons of milk), St. Matthew's Church Women ($50 donation), Steve & Linda Palmetier ($300 donation) and St. Theresea's Helping Hands ($750 in Walmart gift cards to purchase all hams for the program).
"This year's program exceeded my expectations and will help give our families a very Merry Christmas," Ruffino said.