Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it also tends to be the most expensive. All those packages coming down the driveway? They’re not from Santa’s workshop. You’ve got Amazon and your credit card to thank for those.
Between decking the halls, making the yuletide bright, and Santa Claus comin’ to town, our bank accounts take a significant hit.
But for some lucky folks in Monroe County, Georgia, their wallets were a little bit heavier, thanks to some unexpected Christmas cheer (and CASH) from an anonymous “Secret Santa” and his very unusual elves.
Police Officer Swaps Out Tickets for Cash
In 2015, an anonymous businessman wanted to give back to his community. So, he enlisted the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to help spread some Christmas cheer in the form of cold, hard cash.
The “Secret Santa” donated $5400 and asked officers to swap out tickets for $100 bills for people who “looked like they might need it.”
“He felt like this was a good way to make everybody feel good about law enforcement and to give back to the community for Christmas,” Monroe County Sheriff John Bittick explained.
Deputy Timothy Campfield, aka Santa’s Helper, was more than happy to be a part of it.
“It’s not every day you get to hand out cash instead of citations.”
Deputy Timothy Campfield
He stopped motorists who might normally have been issued written warnings or tickets for minor infractions like driving with a burnt out brake light, and surprised them with the cash instead.
A video shared by WMAZ News captured the heartwarming reactions of drivers, from their initial confusion and anxiety, to tears of relief and joy upon receiving the unexpected gift.
“Oh, can I hug you?” asked Angel Scott, a mother of six who was feeling the stress of the holiday season. But she wasn’t the only one feeling the love.
Grandmother Renee Smith did too. “It’s gonna help Christmas,” she said. “We’ve only bought one gift for my grandson, and that’s it. We haven’t done anything else so far.”
And dad of two, William White, couldn’t believe it. “Are you sure? I can’t accept that. You aren’t going to put your handcuffs on me are you?”
“You were telling me that work has been a little slow,” Campfield told him. “Instead of handing you a citation or writing you a ticket that’s gonna cost you money, I’d like to give you this donation. Take it with you for your family.”
It’s the Gift That Keeps on Giving
The giving, however, didn’t end there. After hearing about the 54 people that received bills instead of A bill, a second anonymous benefactor stepped up with an additional $5000 to spread even more holiday joy.
And, for several years afterward, a “Secret Santa” mysteriously appeared every Christmas, providing a bigger and bigger stack of $100 bills. In 2018, the anonymous donation reached a whopping $9000.
“It makes you feel good. It makes you feel like you’re actually doing something for them. You’re helping them out, you really are. Just to be able to bring that joy to somebody, especially near the holidays, really makes you feel good as a person.”
Monroe County Deputy via WGXA News
The drivers may have received the cash, but for the police officers who got to be a part of the Secret Santa Missions, they received something even more valuable. They got to experience the pure joy of doing something good for someone else, at a time when they least expected it.
Not all presents come in boxes. Sometimes they come in the gifts of time, or love, or generosity, or grace. And these gifts? Are priceless.