Tony Perez knows the holidays will be different this year. Since he was 17-years-old, he's been dressing as Santa to help spread cheer. While the pandemic is limiting contact, Perez said his visits aren't limited. He's offering free virtual visits for people on the frontlines of the pandemic.
"A virtual pat on the back to say, hey, we know you're here. We know you're doing this," Perez said. "We care for you, just like you care for us."
Perez said he won't charge anything for the virtual visits, since he already has the red suit, and Zoom is free. He's hoping other Santas out there follow his lead.
"Just to give them some hope to cling onto, and that somebody cares. That's it. We can all do it. Well, not all of us can play Santa," Perez said laughing. "It's just something good for you. It's something good for you to give back."
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Perez said frontline workers can send an email request to email@example.com. He'll do as many visits as he can; any time, any day, including Christmas day. No charge.
"Everything is gonna be ok eventually," Perez said. "There's still hope. There's still hope."