Just before 9 a.m. Saturday, I arrived at the New Berlin Fire Station and was met by at least 15 other volunteers already organizing food baskets, toys and clothing donations that would be given away at this year’s Spirit of Christmas event.
Many of the volunteers had also worked the day before, picking up collections from various areas, such as the Unadilla Valley School, and then organizing the donations into equal proportions.
It was one of two different community events scheduled in the Village of New Berlin on Saturday. Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus were scheduled to visit and make crafts over at the New Berlin Masonic temple later in the day. Dozens of area volunteers were on hand to help out at both.
Originally organized by the First United Methodist Church, the Spirit of Christmas event has grown into a non-denominational good will drive with several organizations participating, including St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and St. Theresa’s Roman Catholic Church of New Berlin; St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church of South New Berlin; and students from Unadilla Valley.