Amazon workers

AMAZON ELVES — Employees from Amazon participated in a holiday party hosted by the e-commerce company at Ralph Waldo Emerson School 58 on Tuesday, Dec. 18. The party include several fun, activity stations for students, gifts and even a check presentation to seven local organizations that help support initiatives and programs that serve homeless students and families in the greater Indianapolis area. Amazon donated $180,000 to each organization, including to the IPS Education Foundation. Below, Ralph Waldo Emerson Principal Jean Ely enjoys the party with students.

The gymnasium inside Ralph Waldo Emerson School 58 looked a LOT like Christmas, thanks to our friends at

Amazon and Holiday gifts

The popular e-commerce company created a Winter Wonderland for the school’s students — complete with colorful holiday decorations, activity stations, and even a real live Santa Claus!

Putting smiles on more than 300 students’ faces might seem impossible, but the staff at Amazon made it look easy on Tuesday, Dec. 18, as students squealed with excitement from the sights and sounds provided throughout the day.

Students received free gifts, decorated cookies, took pictures with Santa, and so much more.

Amazon also donated $180,000 to seven local organizations that help support initiatives and programs that serve homeless students and families in the greater Indianapolis area — including IPS, which serves about 1,800 homeless students.

All of the organizations received oversized checks from Amazon, with the Indianapolis Public Schools Education Foundation receiving $15,000 for the district. Other organizations included the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention (CHIP), Dayspring Center, Gleaners Food Bank, Hoosier Veterans Assistance Foundation, IPS, Plainfield Community School Corporation, and Zionsville Community Schools.

Amazon Party at Ralph Waldo Emerson

The money is an amazing gift to these organizations right before the holidays, but the students were more concerned about the fun being provided by Amazon employees, who were dressed in festive clothes and accessories.

It’s a moment that they soon won’t forget. 

“This has been an amazing experience for our scholars,” said Ralph Waldo Emerson Principal Jean Ely. “If you could see their faces. … Thanks Amazon for extending your generosity to our scholars. It helps parents to know that their kids are taken care of this holiday season!”

Additional Donation from Amazon

In addition to the $15,000 received from Amazon for IPS’ homeless students and families, the company also surprised the district with an additional $16,000 check to support hunger relief at Francis W. Parker School 56.

The money will be used to create a Gleaners School-Based Pantry at the school.

This gift will allow Gleaners to provide food for the pantry for a full year of food distributions.

Pantry coordinators order the food they need/want from Gleaners. Typically, this would be a variety of perishable and non-perishable items. The cost to fully fund a school-based pantry for one year is $16,000.