MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – COVID-19 has changed a lot of holiday traditions, but the Moose Lodge didn’t want it to ruin an annual gift giveaway.
The annual Children’s Christmas Giveaway continued on this year and bought gifts for 25 children who had been pre-selected. In a normal year, the Moose, as it’s affectionately known, gives away gifts to 60-70 children in an indoor setting with food and lots of interaction. However, this year it was under a covered area with a lot of ventilation.
“We’re still trying to make it seem like a great Christmas for the kids even though we’ve been through such a tough year,” Mary Jolliffe, the Moose’s regent, said. “We want them to have some fun and some experiences with Santa Claus even though it’s a distanced and safe way to do it.”
Joy Henderson, the recorder Women of the Moose, said she too felt it was important to still have the event even if it were in a different manner. But she said she can’t wait to get back to normal.
“I hope we’re back to normal by next year, absolutely,” Henderson said.
Both women said the plan is to get gifts to all children who were expecting them even if they were unable to stop by the lodge.
“We will make sure that they’re delivered to their homes somehow and then we also reach out and help with families who are in need through, basically, word of mouth through the community,” Joliffee said.
Jolliffe and Henderson said the Moose organizes events for children year-round. In October, they held a drive-thru trick-or-treat event. The hope is to have a regular event for Easter in 2021.