Amazon sends Santa and elves to Christmas party for Tampa Bay children

This Friday night, Santa takes advantage of a special kind of Prime one-day shipping and zips into Tampa Bay.

click to enlarge Santa along with elves will spend time with Tampa Bay kids Friday night, thanks in part to Amazon's $75,000 donation to Feeding Tampa Bay. - Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jenna Hildebrand / released
Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jenna Hildebrand / released
Santa along with elves will spend time with Tampa Bay kids Friday night, thanks in part to Amazon's $75,000 donation to Feeding Tampa Bay.

Sure, Amazon has its detractors, including some former employees and, well, lots of small businesses whose livelihood is threatened by bargain-rate books and same-day shipping. We get that. We also get the allure of getting books sent to our iPad or Kindle as if by magic, and how great it is to Christmas shop in our jammies at 4 a.m.

We're conflicted about Amazon, is what we're saying.

Which is why we're so happy to see Amazon hosting a kick-ass Christmas dinner for 250 Boys & Girls Club kids at Tampa's Winston Park Friday night. At the dinner, each kid can take home a toy they choose for themselves.

Before dinner, kids get to decorate ornaments and cookies, drink hot chocolate, play games and have their pictures taken with Santa's elves who, suspiciously enough, masquerade as Amazon fulfillment center staff. That metaphor isn't lost on us, Amazon. Santa will visit Winston Park before taking advantage of his Amazon Prime benefits and getting same-day shipping to similar dinners near other fulfillment centers across the U.S.

Amazon promised to donate more than $1 million to nonprofits supporting the communities in which the online retail giant has fulfillment centers. Amazon has pledged to donate $75,000 of that to Feeding Tampa Bay; this dinner and holiday party in Tampa is part of that donation.

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About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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