Secret Santas make a difference with gifts from $100 bills to new cars

Secret Santa is best known as a gift swapping activity in offices and other places of business during the Christmas season. But some people are taking the sharing to a whole new level.

In cities and towns across America, several self-proclaimed Secret Santas who operate under the cloak of anonymity, have taken to the streets to make the lives of those whose holidays may not be so happy a little bit better.

In Milwaukee, the city’s transit workers and police were charged with giving out thousands of dollars in $100 bills to various citizens of the “Cream City.” This unknown St. Nick has been performing these random acts of kindness over the Christmas season for several years. He did pose for photos with some of Milwaukee’s finest but covered his face with a Christmas hat, so his identity remains a mystery.


In Eastern Idaho for the last five years, a local man has been giving away $500,000. He works with to solicit nominations and then the news organizations “elves” surprise recipients during the holiday season through Christmas morning. And it is not just cash. This helper has given away cars, appliances health aides and shopping sprees.

Santa’s good work is not limited to America’s heartland. In Pennsylvania about 90 minutes north of Pittsburgh in the small town of just under 4,000, a man walked into the local police department with 10 envelopes to be distributed to families in need. It so moved the police chief there, that he matched the gifts.

Police officers were also drafted by an unknown Kris Kringle outside of Kansas City, Missouri to donate $100 bills (clearly the currency of choice for Christmas).  Officers in Shawnee “pulled over” drivers who thought they were getting tickets. Instead, they were gifted.

Sheriffs in Perry County, Alabama became helpers when asked to distribute $15,000 to help make Christmas merrier for local families.


The Motor City has seen Mr. & Mrs Claus for more than a decade and has given out more than $171,000 according to The Detroit News. This year the duo passed out more than $13,000 in $100 bills. Like other helpers with roots in the North Pole, their identities remain unknown.

Almost every child wants a new bicycle for Christmas at some point on their wish list. In Fort Worth, Texas, at an elementary school, a Lone Star Santa purchased bicycles for every student in the third, fourth and fifth grades.

Some Secret Santa gifts are small – but go a long way, like the more than 111-single ride and 50 two-way ride bus passes distributed in Binghamton, NY.

There isn't a Christmas spirit anymore? Don't tell the hundreds of people who believe again in Santa Claus.