Spirit Of Christmas Comes To New Berlin December 16
Published: December 7th, 2023
By: Sarah Genter

Spirit of Christmas comes to New Berlin December 16 Families in need in the Unadilla Valley district can apply to receive a basket of food and toys at Spirit of Christmas on Saturday, December 16. (Sun file photo)

NEW BERLIN — The Spirit of Christmas food and toy drive will be coming to the Chobani Community Center, located at 75 South Main Street in New Berlin, on Saturday, December 16.

The Spirit of Christmas is an annual event that benefits families in the Unadilla Valley district, which encompasses New Berlin, Pittsfield, Columbus, and South Edmeston.

"This is a collaboration between the churches and community volunteers, and we’ve been doing this for several years now," said Spirit of Christmas Coordinator Terry Potter. "It’s a good service to the community."

Story Continues Below Adverts

Applications to receive a Spirit of Christmas basket can be found all over the New Berlin area, including Service Pharmacy, Curtis Lumber, the Village of New Berlin office, New Berlin and South New Berlin libraries, NBT Bank, Stewart’s in New Berlin, New Berlin First United Methodist Church, St. Andrew’s in New Berlin, St. Matthew’s in South New Berlin, St. Teresa's, and Holmesville Baptist Church in South New Berlin, NY Pizzeria, the New Berlin and South New Berlin Dollar Generals, Head Start in New Berlin, Opportunities for Chenango, Golden Artist Colors, and the UV Food Bank.

After applications are completed, they can be returned to any of the locations listed above. Potter said volunteers will reach out to applicants to schedule a time for pickup on December 16, which usually runs from 8 a.m. to noon.

Applications are due by Monday, December 11. Potter said the application will include areas where families can mark whether they need food, toys, or both, and if they are requesting toys, they can add their child's age and interests.

"Some families are only going to need food and then for some families with the children they do food and toys. So not everybody gets food and toys, there's community members that just require assistance with the food," Potter explained. "On the forms there’s an area that they can request the food basket, request toys, and also there’s a place on the form where they can put their child’s age on there and maybe some of their interests and things like that just to kind of give us an idea."

Potter said the success of the Spirit of Christmas is largely due to the community, which provides donations and volunteers. He said oftentimes businesses such as NBT Bank, Golden Artist Colors, Service Pharmacy, and Preferred Mutual will do internal food and toy drives to help, and individuals often sign on to volunteer, many of which are students and seniors.

"We have volunteers that will help put together the boxes and help organize the things so that on Saturday things run smooth," said Potter. "It’s definitely a community effort."

Those who would like to donate to the Spirit of Christmas can drop off donations at NBT Bank in New Berlin. In addition to collecting toys and food, Potter said each year the Spirit of Christmas focuses on a particular item to add to the baskets; this year they are collecting socks of all sizes and styles.

Story Continues Below Adverts

Thanks to the community effort of donors and volunteers, he said the Spirit of Christmas is able to help around 60 families each year. Any items that are left over at the end of the event are donated to other local organizations.

"If there’s any items that are left over we donate them to the local food banks or to Catholic Charities," said Potter. "We will donate anything that's left to organizations in the community to help serve the families."