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UPDATE: Local Secret Santa's generosity gains statewide attention


Anonymous man shares motivation behind selfless gift

“Give the credit to God, not us,” was the request of the man who walked into Wal-Mart on Friday, delivering $30,000 in gift cards to be used to pay off layaway accounts to make local residents’ Christmases a little brighter this year.

The act has gained statewide attention and has been reported by numerous news outlets. The Examiner is honoring his request to remain anonymous. 

“You can’t give any names,” the man texted this morning. “We didn’t want to be known. I’m glad it has gotten attention so maybe others will give as well, but I don’t want our names in the article. You could say that it is a (Calvary Christian School) family.”


The cards were purchased through the school’s scrip program in which a percentage of the gift cards’ value is returned to the school. In this case, the school received $600, which goes into the Parent-Teacher-Student Fellowship organization which helps with a variety of items.

He worked with store employees about four-and-a-half hours Friday. Although the donor did not know the names of the families or individuals he was helping, store employees tried to select accounts with large numbers of toys, indicating a family was benefiting from the gift.

“When my wife and I were younger, we struggled, too, and know what it is like,” the donor said Monday.

For families like that of single mother Mollie Wise, the gift could not have come at a better time.

“Me and my children are very grateful for this,” she said. “My family is very grateful for whoever did this. It’s pretty overwhelming and I can’t express how much this means to me.”

She had in layaway a walker for her 8-month-old son Kaeson Wise and an educational MobiGo device for her 3-year-old daughter Ashtyn Evans, along with a variety of other toys and clothes and gifts for her 6-year-old nephew Hayden Wise.

The total bill was $300, but she said another mother near her in line had a $600 bill paid.

Ms. Wise said she returned from work Friday and had received a message from Wal-Mart that she should come to the store to pick up her layaway items, which had been paid off by a Secret Santa.

“I work out of town and everything is so costly these days. Any help I can get is greatly appreciated,” the mother said, noting that she can use the money she saved to pay her regular monthly bills without worrying so much about Christmas. “I wish I knew who this was so I could thank him for everything he has done for our family. No words can express how grateful I am.”

The donor said giving is second-nature to his family and that they have assisted in a variety of projects, including a current effort to help children who need new glasses, but cannot afford them.

“God blesses us all in different ways,” he said. “Some of us are blessed with time, some with money and some with patience. God has blessed me with money, and this is my way of giving back.”

But he said drawing attention to the good work done at Calvary Christian School is also a main goal.

“I’d really like to draw attention to the school and the good work they do and try to get more families in there,” he said.

Other donors have made similar gifts in past Christmas seasons at Wal-Mart, but this was one of the larger amounts given by an individual, store employees report.

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