3 “Secret Santa” Stories that Celebrate the Spirit of Giving

Dec 16, 2010
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One of the sweetest holiday traditions involves being a Secret Santa. These three “Secret Santa” stories are heartwarming and celebrate the spirit of giving to others.

Secret Santa Pete

Image Credits: Courtesy Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center

Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center, located in Evansville, Indiana, serves 6,000 adults and children in need of physical and medical rehabilitation in a 30-county stretch of Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky. Each year, a call comes in to the Rehabilitation Center from an anonymous man known only as “Pete.” He tells them where he has hidden a large cash donation for them to apply toward the children with disabilities who could not otherwise have Christmas presents. Pete is as creative as he is generous. He hides his Secret Santa gifts in evergreen trees, a trash container, a stairwell and other locations. This year, Secret Santa Pete left a gift bag near two blue trash dumpsters adjacent to the Rehabilitation Center´s main parking lot. Inside the bag was a green metal Christmas tree with 30 rolled $100 bills inserted in its branches.This $3,000 donation is the 29th cash gift the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center has received from “Pete” the mysterious Secret Santa. As per Pete’s instructions, Easter Seals will use the money to buy gifts for at least 70 special needs children whose families cannot afford to buy presents.

Secret Santa Delwyn & Christmas Angels

Image Credit: Courtesy of Foster Angels

According to Reader’s Digest, Delwyn Collins grew up in the projects of Fort Worth, Texas, where he was called “handicapped with a learning disability” and sent to a special education school. But now the 52-year-old cafeteria worker at Tampa General Hospital is in his 21st year of setting up a Foster Angel’s Giving Tree that is decorated with paper angels bearing the first names, ages, and gender of foster children and the gifts each child would like to receive. Many of these kids have special needs and are moved from foster home to foster home. Collins puts back a portion of his paycheck every week to buy gifts to put under the tree. “I just want to show these children there is somebody out there in the community who loves them.” Last year, more than 1,000 kids in foster care in and around Tampa received gifts. “My job is to help and give to others,” says Collins. “God doesn’t care if we’re rich or poor.”

Secret Child Santa

Image Credit: Project Mobility

10-year-old Riley Christensen was on the family computer with her mother, Lynn, to check out models and prices of bikes to give her dad for his birthday. While surfing, they saw a shop called Bike Rack that was in their town of St. Charles, Illinois, and followed a video link for Project Mobility. It showed Bike Rack co-owner Hal Honeyman building specially engineered bicycles for people with disabilities. Riley told her mom that she was going to buy a specialty bike for a child. So she sent out letters to 75 family members, asking for donations, but the cost of one special bike could be at least $4,000. Her mother was afraid Riley could not raise that much. However, word got around and the 10-year-old girl raised $12,000, enough to pay for seven specialty bikes. On Christmas Eve, Riley wore a Santa hat and delivered three of those bikes: Ava, a 13-year-old girl with spina bifida; Jenny, a 15-year-old girl with cerebral palsy; and Rose, a 4-year-old girl with a rare genetic disorder. “This is the best Christmas I ever had,” said Riley.

Author: Tessa

  • Kwiley01

    Tessa, I like when you write stories of this type. I hope you write more like this. I enjoyed your piece on Assistive Technology as well. More pieces need to be written about the capabilities of people with disabilities compared to their “vulnerabilities”.