WEST SPRINGFIELD — Santa Claus is coming to town, but like everyone else in 2020, he’s going to have to stay socially distanced.
Workers in the Park and Recreation Department are making sure that two of West Springfield’s cherished holiday traditions will continue during the COVID-19 pandemic. Operation Santa, the annual food and toy drive, is proceeding with as little personal contact as possible, and visits to Santa’s House will take place online this year.
Operation Santa typically involves more than 100 volunteers sorting thousands of donations into gift packages, and 50 volunteer drivers delivering the gifts to needy families in town. Santa’s House is a two-week event with personal contact every night. Each has been a fixture of the holiday season in West Springfield since 1980, and that meant “a scramble” this year to reinvent them, said Park and Recreation Director Victoria Connor.
“What can we do? We don’t