- East Idaho’s ‘Secret Santa’ is back on its seventh year to give away $1 million in cash, cars, gift cards and more to the community.
- Since “Secret Santa” wants to remain anonymous, East Idaho News’ Nate Eaton has been facilitating the surprises for the last seven years.
- One of this year’s lucky recipients was an old couple who dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus for the last 25 years but stopped volunteering when the husband was diagnosed with cancer.
East Idaho’s ‘Secret Santa’ is back to give away $1 million in cash, cars, gift cards and more to the community.
Since “Secret Santa” wants to remain anonymous, East Idaho News’ Nate Eaton has been facilitating the surprises for the last seven years. He shows up on doorsteps to hand out the presents.
One of this year’s lucky recipients was the husband and wife Steven and Susan Andrews.
For the last 25 years, Steven and Susan have volunteered by dressing up as Santa and Mrs. Claus in their community. They couldn’t volunteer last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, it’s because Steve was diagnosed with cancer.
The couple received two checks totaling $15,000 from ‘Secret Santa.’
“Holy Moly!” Steve said looking down at the check. “Merry Christmas!,” Susan responded.
The gift-giving tradition started in 2013. Secret Santa asked Nate to pass out $100,000. Now, it’s grown to $1 million.
“I was shocked. I’ll be honest with you,” Nate told Inside Edition.
Nate said ‘Secret Santa’ is “One person. It’s not a program. It’s not a corporation. It’s not like it’s trust fund or anything. It’s actually a living person who just enjoys giving his money away.”
The Secret Santa told Nate that he felt “there’s a lot of need” in their community this year as many people are affected by the pandemic. The team started earlier this year, handing out bigger gifts.
“The number of nominations we’ve already seen has been higher than in years past,” Nate said. To be eligible for the secret Santa surprise, you must live in the East Idaho region and be nominated to be a recipient.
Last year, kindergarten teacher Darci Orchard and mom of eight Carissa Heaps both received a brand new car. A blind man and his wife, Robert and Phoenix Rowley, received hundreds of dollars in gift cards and a $5,000 cashier’s check.
Source: Inside Edition