WHNT News 19’s Secret Santa Patrol Surprises People In Florence

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – A smile and a thank you.  Many think the art of doing something nice for someone, just because you can, is a lost art in our culture that runs too fast and sometimes too harsh.

A close friend of the station gave WHNT News 19’s Greg Screws 50 $100 bills and asked him to find people to receive those “random acts of kindness.”

In our trip to Florence, we stopped by the municipal building, then the post office, then a grocery store.

“We won’t keep you long. Would you talk to us for a couple of minutes?”

As true as a law of physics, everyone has a story.  Like William Whitehead — his church has a mission.

“We’re currently helping a couple of families who have lost their parents,” said Whitehead. “There was a lady that got killed in a car wreck and we’re donating for Christmas presents for her kids at Christmas.”

Everyone has a story.

We met 4-month-old Sophia.  It’s her first Christmas.  Her mom is looking forward to a first Christmas with the baby.

“You think you can find something for Sophia with that?” we asked. “I can,” she said. “Can I give you a hug?” she asked.  We were glad to receive it.

No one deserves a Secret Santa gift more than Beverly Roy McCainey.  We learned she taught special education for 36 years.

“God bless you,” we said.

Beverly has a big family.  One of their Christmas traditions is a big breakfast the men in the house prepare.  This year, the meal is on our Secret Santa.

“I’m gonna help you with it a little bit.  So that is from us,” we said. “Oh my goodness,” she replied. “Thank you and this will go toward the breakfast.”

Our Secret Santa day ended with someone who gives back in a big way. Jessie Pollard is a volunteer firefighter.

“I wanted to do something I can be proud of.  I moved to Florence for college,” Pollard said. “I stayed here and adopted this place as my community.  It’s my home.  This is how I give back to my home.”

And today, Secret Santa gave back to her.

“Merry Christmas,” we said, handing her a $100 bill. “You’re joking,” she said.  “I’m not joking,” we replied. “That’s for you. Merry Christmas.”

“Well, thank you.  I understand why you made that girl cry up there.”

In the Dalai Lama’s book, “The Art of Happiness” he wrote, ‘Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries.  Without them, humanity cannot survive.’

Click the links to see our Secret Santa in action in other areas:

Huntsville Churches, Tinsel Trail, and Grocery Stores

Secret Santa Stories Surprising People with $100

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