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Cheektowaga woman seeks WNY's help to provide gifts to families in need this Christmas

Last year Brittany Kotarski raised $1,000 to buy gifts for families in need, as well as for homeless men, women and children at the Buffalo City Mission.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — As many of you start to make your Christmas shopping lists this year, you might want to add one more person.

Brittany Kotarski of Cheektowaga needs your help to make Christmas a little more special this year for families in need. 

Last year the company Kotarski works for was participating in a giving tree to buy gifts for families in need. 

When she got the family's list, it said they wanted coats for their kids. 

That's when she realized she needed to figure out a way to do more.

"It was heartbreaking because for Christmas, it's not really about the gifts, but for little kids, to wake up on Christmas morning and not have gifts, that just broke my heart," Kotarski said. 

This year Kotarski is hoping to uplift as many families' spirits as she can by buying all their Christmas gifts for them, especially given the year its been. 

"It has been really sad to see so many businesses close down, and so many families struggle with losing jobs and losing businesses, that I think this year was a big year to really give back to your community, and that was why I asked, instead of buying a coffee for the morning, just to donate a dollar," Kotarski said.

"The smallest amount goes such a long way. If 20 people donate $1, that's $20 right there."

She's raised over $700 in just three days.

Last year Kotarski was able to raise $1,000, and the money went a pretty long way. She was able to give gifts to a family who lost everything in a fire right before Christmas.

Kotarski was also able to buy gifts for a single mom who couldn't buy gifts because she had to pay for her daughter's brain surgery. 

"It was the most heartwarming experience because I knew she was struggling so to be able to connect with her one-on-one to see the things her daughter likes and then I was able to go shopping for those things, so on Christmas morning, her daughter was able to open them," Kotarski said.

"When I dropped those off, she was so thankful and I was just really thankful that everyone who donated was able to be a part of that experience."

The rest of the money then went to providing underwear, socks, hats and gloves for homeless men, women and children at the Buffalo City Mission.

If you would like to help Kotarski buy more gifts for families and the homeless this year, you can donate to her Venmo @Brittany-Kotarski-1.

If you don't want to use Venmo, or would like to donate a gift to a child or drop off donations for the homeless, you can send a message to Kotarski on Instagram by clicking here or email her at brittwozniak@gmail.com