To spread holiday cheer, elementary students gifted toys by local business

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) —  It’s the season of giving and one local business is spreading the holiday cheer.

With the help of Bankers Healthcare Group, lots of smiles and laughs went around at Dr. Weeks Elementary School Thursday afternoon.

“If you don’t get gifts, Santa Claus is going to be mad or sad, cause you don’t wanna be on the naughty list,” said Lameer Brantley, a first-grade student at Dr. Weeks.

Santa’s definitely going to have a big smile on his face this year! Each student at Dr. Weeks received a gift from Bankers Healthcare Group for the holidays.

“When we had met the staff here, they told us exactly the dire need, whether it’s food, or some of these kids don’t even have clothes. They’re all hand me downs, so if we can give them just something, whether it’s a coloring book, a toy, to let them know that people care and that there is hope, and that it’s our chance to give back,” said Chris Panebianco, Chief Marketing Officer of Bankers Healthcare Group.

However, for some of the students at Dr. Weeks, it may be the only present the receive.

“Typically when our kids get back to their classroom, teachers have them put their gifts somewhere, like in their cubbies. Well, some students are not going to. We see them clinging to their toy the rest of the day. They are not willing to let that toy go. It is the most special thing that they will get potentially this season,” said Diane Vitello, Principal of Dr. Weeks Elementary School.

BHG is hoping to make the holidays for the children and families a little brighter.

“With all the good going on, we know that there are still people in need. And if we’ve been so fortunate at BHG, it is our responsibility to give back,” said Panebianco.

Nearly 800 toys were supplied from Five Below in Syracuse for the giveaway. Each student at Dr. Weeks not only walked away with the toy of their choice, but a smile on their face that’ll last through the holiday season.

Some of the school’s families that are also in need were given bags of food from Wegmans to put on the table for the holidays. Last year, Bankers Healthcare Group learned that food was also a need and wanted to contribute.

All of the students were filled with appreciation.

“Thank you to BHG and give us these presents, you’re the best,” said Brantley.

WEB EXTRA: Lameer Brantley, first-grade student at Dr. Weeks

It’ll be a moment that these kids will treasure as they celebrate the holidays.

For more local news, follow Adrienne Smith on Twitter @AdrienneSmithTV

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