Tonawanda family collecting donations for the homeless as Santa and Mrs. Claus

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TONAWANDA, N.Y.(WIVB)– A family in Tonawanda got some inspiration from the North Pole to help collect donations for a local charity.

“It was Mrs. Claus idea, she wanted to do something nice this year.”

Rob Peterson and his wife Sarah go all out for Christmas, but this year they decided to do something extra special to spread joy during the pandemic.

Teaming up with Friends Feeding Friends of Buffalo, they decided to dress up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus to spread awareness about the organization that provides food, clothing, and toiletries, for those in need.

“Clothes, deodorants, little baby shampoos whatever it may be, just so we can take the downtown every Saturday and make sure that we keep on the holiday cheer and the blessings that we’ve been blessed with that we want to pass on to everyone else,” Rob said.

Guests that show up at their home get reindeer food, information about the organization, and a socially distanced bag of goodies from Santa.

“The kids love it, their little smiling faces make everything worth it and our communities been so great helping out with donations so to give back to them has been a real joy,” Sarah said.

The family says some nights they get twenty plus cars stopping by to snap a pick with Santa or drop off a donation. Their son Gabriel says on some nights it gets a little cold, but he doesn’t mind because he knows how important it is to help others in need.

“Jesus said to love our neighbor, and I love my town and community and I just want to give back.”

The family will be outside their home on Puritan Road collecting donations Sunday and Monday from 7:00 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Kelly Khatib is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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