I think we can all agree that 2020 wasn’t exactly a year that many of us will look upon with fond memories.
But with the help of East Idaho’s famously mysterious Secret Santa, one newly widowed mom has something incredibly hopeful to look forward to in the new year.
There’s a very special Secret Santa that has been paying a visit to East Idaho since 2015. It all started when a journalist named Nate Eaton received a phone call from an anonymous donor who wanted to give back to the community.
However, this Secret Santa didn’t want to give away their money just because they could.
Instead, they want to help down-on-their-luck folks who work really hard and never complain about their circumstances.
“From a local person who said, I have $100,000 that I want to give away. But I want to be sure that the money goes to people who truly need it, people that would never ask for a handout, people that, you know, are working hard. They’ve just run out of money and they’ve run out of luck.”
The person behind Idaho’s gift-giving holiday fairy is a real person. Whatever pronoun they identify with, this person wishes to remain anonymous. And that’s actually a good thing! Instead of placing the attention on themselves, all the focus goes towards helping the people that actually need it.
Eaton told NPR that:
“It’s amazing to watch somebody’s life change in seconds, where you show up, they open a box and that thing they never thought would happen just happened from an anonymous giver who doesn’t want to be known.”
With 100K burning a hole in Secret Santa’s ginormous gift bag, the number of different ways they can spread the cheer is almost endless!
The East Idaho News team receives a flood of nominations each year.
And with 2020’s donation topping out at a massive $500K, that meant quite a few people could share in the holiday joy!
One of the lucky recipients of Secret Santa’s generosity is a newly widowed mom named Patricia.
A few months ago, Patricia became worried when her husband didn’t come home from work. The family, which includes their three amazing kids ages 13, 11, and 7, were waiting for him to show up so they could all eat dinner together.
Patricia called his cell phone to find out where he was, but, he never answered. Sadly, she soon found out the reason why.
Her husband had tragically passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning in the shop he worked at.
Patricia’s husband was a very hardworking man, and he did everything he could to make sure his family was happy.
Patricia has done everything she could to take care of her kids, but the mere fact that it was 2020 just made things that much harder. She sold baked goods to her community of Dubois that was the only income that she was receiving.
Yet, despite all of her hardship, Patricia is still an extremely positive person!
The person who nominated Patricia for the Secret Santa gift told East Idaho News:
“When Patricia was recently going through the budget for the month, her kids were doing homework. Patricia mentioned they had money to pay all her bills except the power bill. Sebastian ran to his room to get a dollar and told her that his dollar was enough to pay the power bill and maybe also get WiFi.”
Secret Santa was so touched by this story that he had to include Patricia and her kids in this year’s gift-giving bonanza.
At first, the hardworking mom was resistant to the gift and started to walk away from Eaton and the cameraman as they approached her with a small gift box.
But check out the video below to see how she reacts when she finally allows herself to just receive the abundance she deserves!
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