More than 600 Volunteers of the Kids Need More Annual Holiday Elf Cheer Bus. Photo by Ed Shin

Hundreds of volunteers helped the nonprofit Kids Need More deliver Christmas gifts to children with life-threatening illnesses during the group’s fifth annual Holiday Cheer Bus Elf Ride on Dec. 22.

About two dozen buses stocked with toy-delivering elves drove directly to homes all over Long Island to make wishes come true for more than 250 families coping with cancer and serious illnesses. Many of the volunteers are survivors or bereaved family members themselves. 

“We started this event knowing that all parents feel the pressure to make the season magical for their children, but when families are stressed with medical visits, painful treatments, and financial burdens, taking part in holiday festivities can be overwhelming, said Kids Need More President Melissa Firmes. “We wanted to make the experience not only wonderful for the children, but also as a gift to the entire family, and a way for everyone to enjoy the holiday together.”

The Holiday Cheer Bus Elf Ride always takes place the Sunday before Christmas each year.

Santa leading the way. Photo by Ed Shin
Volunteers delivering toys and holiday cheer to children with illnesses all over Long island. Photo by Ed Shin.
Volunteers delivering toys and holiday cheer to children with illnesses all over Long island. Photo by Ed Shin.
Volunteers delivering toys and holiday cheer to children with illnesses all over Long island. Photo by Ed Shin.
Volunteers delivering toys and holiday cheer to children with illnesses all over Long island. Photo by Ed Shin.
Volunteers delivering toys and holiday cheer to children with illnesses all over Long island. Photo by Ed Shin.
Volunteers delivering toys and holiday cheer to children with illnesses all over Long island. Photo by Ed Shin.
Volunteers delivering toys and holiday cheer to children with illnesses all over Long island. Photo by Ed Shin.
Volunteers delivering toys and holiday cheer to children with illnesses all over Long island. Photo by Ed Shin.
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