Hillside has launched its Special Santa program for 2021 with a new presenting sponsor, KeyBank. The program will run through Saturday, December 12.

Now in its fourth decade, the annual program provides donated toys and gifts for vulnerable children and families served by Hillside. Last year, community support enabled Special Santa to provide more than 6,500 presents to approximately 4,000 children throughout Western and Central New York; in New York’s Southern Tier; and in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has resumed the online model that was introduced last year. Hillside staff collect thoughts from children in Hillside programs about their wants and needs for holiday gifts, and that information is entered into a collection of Charity Wish Lists on the Amazon Smile website. Donors can make selections from those lists, and all purchased items are delivered to program staff for distribution to young people and families.

Complete details can be found on Hillside’s Special Santa page.

“For decades, Hillside’s Special Santa program has helped make the holidays bright for thousands of children who otherwise may not be able to celebrate this season with toys and gifts,” said Phil Muscato, KeyBank Rochester Market President. “All of us at KeyBank are honored to support this important program that brings so much joy to children and families in so many communities. We encourage everyone to join us in investing in Hillside and families in our community through this important and worthwhile program.”

“Special Santa is a true partnership with the communities we serve, and Hillside is deeply appreciative of KeyBank’s support of the Special Santa program,” said Maria Cristalli, Hillside President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our ability to help thousands of children every year through this impactful effort is directly tied to the generosity of community partners like KeyBank. Philanthropy makes our work possible.”

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