Stopping a New Yorker in their tracks isn’t easy, yet the beautiful sounds of the Harlem Gospel Choir and welcoming smiles of Amazon employees drew crowds in the big city during our 2021 holiday kickoff event. In celebration of Amazon’s official start of the holiday season, employees from the Amazon delivery center in the Bronx visited Times Square and Bryant Park to deliver Amazon gift cards, cookies, toys, and books to unsuspecting onlookers. The Harlem Gospel Choir made the moment especially cheerful, singing carols to the crowds from atop a festive double-decker bus.
“It’s all about community today,” said Norman M., a driver trainer at the Bronx delivery center who helped hand out gifts during the event. “Our work is more than just delivering products. It’s about the love behind what we do, the value we provide to our customers, and the fellowship with our team. It’s exciting to actually get to be in the community reaching out and giving back, while connecting with my team members.”
The first stop of the day was Times Square. The choir filled the streets with beloved holiday music while festive folks danced and sang along, and a large wreath at the heart of the square provided the perfect photo op for families, friends, and anyone passing by to get their first holiday photo.
“I've been singing and dancing all day,” said Keanu C., area manager at the Bronx delivery station, when we caught up with him after the first stop. “Seeing all the smiles and people dancing gives me energy. Today has been full of great spirits.”
As the bus moved to Bryant Park, onlookers in the buildings above gathered in front of their windows to watch the choir sing, and park visitors came together to share the holiday spirit. Denise O., a sortation associate at Amazon who has lived in New York City since 1979, said she enjoyed seeing members of her community celebrate together.
“My goodness, it has been so great to see people so engaged and excited at today’s event,” she said. “Amazon treats their employees well, but it's also nice for the community to see that the company wants to do something for them, too.”
And while the event offered an opportunity to connect with customers, team members from the Bronx delivery station also enjoyed spending time with their colleagues who they consider to be as close as family.
“My favorite part of the day has been being with my co-workers,” said Carolina L., a learning ambassador at Amazon’s Bronx delivery center. “Spending time together makes us all cheerful—especially my manager, Keanu. He gets us laughing and smiling all the time.”
As we head into Amazon’s busiest time of year, amazing teams like the one at the Bronx delivery station will work together to deliver smiles to customers around the world. Norman, who is heading into his second holiday season with Amazon, said the excitement and encouragement at his facility reaches new heights this time of year. “It’s powerful,” he said. “Everyone is supportive and wants to help each other learn and grow. It’s like a family.”
Carolina, another Amazon holiday veteran, also looks forward to working with her team this season. “It's great money and a great energy—everyone inspires each other to deliver for our customers,” she said.
Denise added that she also feels connected to her team’s shared drive to support customers during the holidays. “It’s a big deal to have our customers’ trust,” she said. “It’s cool to see all of the boxes going out and know that they will be going to different homes to help celebrate the holidays. We want to do everything we can to honor our promise to deliver for those customers.”
Today’s event marks the start of an exciting season for Amazon teams around the world. We’re grateful for our employees and their dedication to delivering smiles to customers. The role Amazon plays in delivering gifts, supplies, and surprises over the holidays—and year-round—would not be possible without employees like Norman, Keanu, Carolina, and Denise, who are the heart and soul of our company.
“Everyone on my team enjoys seeing smiles on people's faces, and I got to see that today with my employees who came out to deliver smiles to customers in person,” said Keanu. “Today was a beautiful kickoff to the holiday season, and I'm looking forward to translating this energy into our station to continue delivering for the Bronx, Manhattan, Harlem, and beyond this year.”