Volunteers Of America Retires Sidewalk Santa

black_imagery_gallery_08For the first time in more than a century, a well-known group of Santa’s helpers won’t be on the city streets.

Volunteers of America announced it is retiring its Sidewalk Santa Parade.

Since 1902, the Santas have marched up Fifth Avenue to raise money for the group’s Hope & Hearth food voucher program.

The non-profit group said in a statement that it has decided to find “other, more effective ways” to raise money that “do not rely on placing suited Sidewalk Santas out in the cold.”

“New, exciting collaborations are forming with companies and individuals who see the value of providing holiday meals to people in need,” the statement read. “While we are discontinuing the parade, the program it supports, Hope & Hearth, is as strong as ever.”

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