Lincoln family gives time, money to help those less fortunate

Posted By: Brent BonFleur

bbonfleur@klkntv.com

Ray and Erica Craig call themselves Santa’s Helpers.

And with a little help from Facebook, they’re spreading holiday cheer to those in need.

For the past three years, Ray and Erica have been delivering presents to families who can’t afford them.

"We put a post on Facebook to find a family," Ray said.

"And we ended up getting several."

What started with that one family has now become dozens.

"Well over 100," they said.

Instead of an army of elves, the Craigs enlist their friends and relatives to help them find the families.

"Once we get everything gathered up, I dress up like Santa and deliver the packages," Ray said.

They’ve helped about 20 families this year alone, but say they wish they could do more.

"There’s a lot of families we can’t help. There are several of them right now that would like help that we just don’t have the resources for anymore," Ray said.

Sponsors foot the bill for some of the gifts, but, when those run out, the Ray and Erica make up the rest – spending around $1,000 of their own money each year.

"Neither of us came from wealthy families, and we know what it’s like to not have a ton," Ray said.

His wife says the smiles on the children’s faces makes it worth it.

"The other night we went to do a delivery and the kids ran out like ‘Santa! Santa!’… ran up and gave him a hug," she said.

"It’s just…. It’s heartwarming to see that."

They also give of their time, as both work during the day.

"I work until 7 o’clock. I’ll come home, put on the Santa suit and then go do some deliveries tonight," Ray said.

As for the gifts, they range from clothes and toys for kids, to gift cards for food or paying bills for parents.

All of the presents are loaded up in the family’s Kia Soul, which they call "Rudolph."

Anyone wanting to help the Craigs can drop off gifts at any Lincoln Jiffy Lube, where Craig works as a manager.

A link to there Facebook page can be found here: http://bit.ly/2htcrVu.